Now full-time, US number one Amanda Sobhy targets Texas title
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
Competing for the first time as a full-time squash professional after concluding her studies at Harvard University, Amanda Sobhy is bidding for success at this week’s Women’s Texas Open in the USA where she is hoping to become the event’s first home winner for seven years.
The Boston-based 21-year-old is the second seed in the 14th edition of the WSA International 35 event which gets underway at Life Time Fitness in Plano, Texas, today following completion of the qualifying tournament.
Sobhy, ranked 10 in the world and three times a first round loser in this established WSA event, will begin her 2015 campaign against Egyptian qualifier Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy, the world No.39 from Cairo who upset higher-ranked Welsh number one Tesni Evans to earn her maiden appearance in the event’s main draw.
US champion Sobhy (right) will be aiming to become the event’s first US champion since former world number one Natalie Grainger in 2008.
Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb is the event’s top seed, and she will be making her Texas Open debut in Plano. The 22-year-old from Cairo, now boasting a career-high world No.5 ranking, also faces a qualifier in the opening round. (See Squash Mad interview here )
England’s Victoria Lust beat French opponent Laura Pomportes 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 in the qualifying finals to claim her first appearance in the main draw since 2012.
The draw also features distinguished Australian Rachael Grinham, the former world number one who won the title in 2004 and 2011 and is marking her 10th appearance in the championship since 2002.
The 38-year-old Queenslander is the No.4 seed and takes on Japanese qualifier Misaki Kobayashi in the first round.
Women’s Texas Open, Plano, Texas, USA
Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Laura Pomportes (FRA) 11-6, 11-8, 11-8
Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt Nouran El Torky (EGY) 11-8, 11-8, 11-4
Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 9-11, 11-5, 16-14, 11-3
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8
Updated 1st round draw:
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [Q] Victoria Lust (ENG)
 Emma Beddoes (ENG) v Heba El Torky (EGY)
 Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [Q] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN)
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Joey Chan (HKG)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [WC] Natalie Grinham (NED)
 Annie Au (HKG) v Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
 Joshana Chinappa (IND) v [Q] Donna Urquhart (AUS)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v [Q] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY)
For all the latest WSA Tour news: wsaworldtour.com
Pictures from Squash Mad archive