“I’ll feel at home with family and friends all here,” says Sobhy
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
On the verge of the US Open in her new home town, Philadelphia-based Amanda Sobhy has become the first American-born player to reach the top three of the PSA world rankings.
The new rankings list was published today and a rise of three places gives Sobhy another massive boost ahead of the U.S. Open following her win earlier this week in the Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco.
Sobhy, 28, is the first US player to rank inside the top three since Natalie Grainger in November 2009 and enjoyed a successful September, winning her biggest event so far at the Oracle NetSuite Open and reaching the semi-finals of the CIB Egyptian Open.
She overtakes Camille Serme, who stays at No.4, while Nour El Tayeb drops two places to No.5. Nour El Sherbini remains at No.1 ahead of CIB Egyptian Open runner-up Nouran Gohar.
Hania El Hammamy drops to No.6 ahead of Sarah-Jane Perry (No.7), Joelle King (No.8), Salma Hany (No.9) and Rowan Elaraby (No.10).
There is double delight for Team USA, with Olivia Clyne rising one place to No.11, and she sits a place ahead of Joshna Chinappa, who drops a spot to No.12.
This week Sobhy will be able to walk from her house to the Arlen Specter US Squash Center, the grand new home of US Squash, to compete in one of the World Tour’s flagship tournaments now taking root in luxurious surroundings that cost $40m.
Sobhy, the No.4 seed for the event, told the PSA website: “It’s going to be interesting because you know this really takes the home tournament to all new level. I live about a 15-minute walk away and I’ve never actually played a tournament where I live, so it’s exciting and it won’t feel like a tournament, it’ll feel very much at home.
“For the first time I’ll truly have all my friends and family right there at the new centre where I’ve been training, so I’m excited to be able to play at the U.S. Open. It’s now a true home tournament for me. I think it’s amazing!”
Playing so close to home will provide a welcome relief for Sobhy, who has had a gruelling 12 months. She has played six tournaments in Egypt and says that playing in Philadelphia is a welcome change.
She added: “To be able to play in the U.S. again is something that I’m so excited about. It has been a long season of travelling and a lot of trips to Egypt, which is a long flight for me, so to be able to now compete on home soil and compete with a home crowd supporting me, it fuels me a bit more.”
Sobhy has performed consistently well throughout 2021, making the semi-finals of the Egyptian, British, and El Gouna Opens, the semi-finals of the World Championships and the final of the Black Ball Open.
On her recent form, Sobhy said: “Considering how tough this year has been, I’ve done pretty well. I think this is the best stretch my squash career has had and thankfully I’ve stayed healthy and happy throughout most of it and have been enjoying it.
“I think that’s been the key, the fact that I’ve been loving my squash. You kind of have to with the circumstances and the nature of the season. If you don’t love it, it’s going to be really hard to continue to keep going.”
Back to the rankings, and Canada’s Danielle Letourneau also enjoys a move up to a career-high position of No.19, while USA’s Olivia Fiechter moves up two places to No.20, replacing compatriot Sabrina Sobhy inside the top 20, with Sobhy dropping three places to No.21.
Canada’s Hannah Blatt is the biggest mover on the women’s tour and has moved up 113 places to No.202 after reaching the quarter-finals of the Nash Cup as well as the last 16 of the GWC Squash House Challenger 5.
Tamara Holzbauerová of Czech Republic has also enjoyed an impressive rise in this month’s rankings, moving up 106 places courtesy of a quarter-final finish at the Bremer Schlüssel.
PSA Women’s World Rankings Top 20 – October 2021.
Pictures courtesy of PSA