Thursday, May 30, 2024

British Open Squash: Amanda Sobhy issues big three warning after telling win

Birmingham — A year ago, Amanda Sobhy admitted to being at a low ebb. On Friday night, the American issued an “I’m coming for you” warning to the big three after she ended Hania El Hammamy’s defence of the British Open in straight games, 11-8, 13-11, 11-4, in just 36 minutes.

The last time these two met at the Black Ball earlier this year it was El Hammamy who emerged victorious over five games. This time, the Egyptian found her American opponent had the solution to every problem as the World No.5 earned what felt like a breakthrough victory – even if this was to be her third semi-final berth.

Now, as she looked forward to a world champion test with Nour El Sherbini the self-belief was palpable. She told Squash Mad: “I’m trying to show people that there is more than just the big three and I’m coming for them.

“It’s Nour up next and I will talk it over with my team and it is a different player and different tactics but I will go in with the same energy and just go out there and enjoy myself.

“But for sure I will take confidence from beating the defending British Open champion and now I need to build on this and make the most of the opportunity.”

The pattern of play essentially saw the left-handed Sobhy’s forehand stacked against the Hammamy backhand and it was the USA No.1 who underlined her control when she took the second of the first two games 13-11.

Sobhy admitted: “If someone wants to hit down my forehand side well I’m happy to do that all night long really.”

One wondered if the World No.2 would try to change things around tactically but a cross court attack to the Sobhy backhand proved intermittent.

What impresses the observer most about Sobhy Mark 2 is that the American no longer lacks for mobility or fitness when up against the absolute elite.

Also Sobhy’s change in body shape, the knots of muscle in her back and a significant increase in mobility are all a glowing testament to this development under Wael El Hindi.

Thus the 29-year-old remained unmoved as Hammamy’s work became increasingly ragged in the third game and Sobhy coasted on her opponents’ uncharacteristic errors to a decisive 11-8 success and ultimate victory.

Following which there was this glowing testimonial to El Hindi: “He has made me enjoy the game again and a year ago I was just not in a nice place.”

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