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Sabrina Sobhy pushes Nour El Tayeb all the way in Cleveland

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Nour El Tayeb prepares to volley against Sabrina Sobhy

Perry meets Waters in all-English quarter-final
By Squash Mad Correspondents

Top seed Nour El Tayeb was pushed all the way by Sabrina Sobhy before battling back to reach the quarter-finals of the Cleveland Classic.

It was a dramatic, competitive encounter in which Sobhy displayed how much her game has improved after setting up a training base in Egypt to practise with the world’s best.

Leading two games to one she must have sensed a major upset was on the cards but El Tayeb, who was runner-up in the Weymuller Open at Heights Casino last week, fought back to take control and win 8-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9 despite requiring a 15-minute injury break.

The match was full of long rallies and physically was very demanding. Sabrina’s length was on, very tight, good width, very clever use of angles to get the ball passed Nour. She had to be very selective with her short game as Nour’s retrieving capabilities are so impressive and she is very unpredictable. 
Sabrina was leading 2-1 in games, and during the first point of the fourth, Nour stepped into Sabrina when retrieving a dropshot. Nour took a 15 minute contributed injury break.
Nour came back strong after the time off court and took the game 11-5. The fifth game was extremely entertaining with both players in top form, Nour just scraping by 11-9. Sabrina, ranked 39 in the world, is consistently producing top 10 level squash.

Farida Mohamed (EGY) v Salma Hany (EGY) 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4
Salma could not find her natural length and accuracy. The young Farida got to implement her game plan of hard hitting and high pace to beat the No.7 seed and make the first upset of the night.

Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Menna Nasser (EGY) 12-10, 3-0 retired
After the first very competitive game, Menna had an injury and had to retire.

Annie Au (HKG) v Nadine Shahin (EGY) 11-7, 11-7, 11-6
Annie Au managed to keep the match at a slow pace, anticipating Nadine’s shots with fast movement and accuracy in the front of the court.

Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Menna Hamed (EGY) 11-7, 11-7, 11-8
SJ used good line and length, moved her opponent into and out of the corners with good hold and touch. Menna’s game plan was aggressive, but she could not find her accuracy.

[6] Alison Waters (ENG) v Mayar Hany (EGY) 18-16, 11-3, 11-3
A very long and competitive first game, with a lot of variety in shots and pace. Alison used her physicality to win in three straight games. Her win sets up an all-English quarter-final against Perry.

Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA)v Victoria Lust (ENG) 11-7, 12-10, 11-7
A very competitive match between two players ranked two positions apart. Very close match all the way through. Olivia managed the important stages of the match better.

Joelle King (NZL) v Hollie Naughton (CAN) 11-5, 11-7, 11-4
Hollie put up a good fight, especially in the first game. Joelle was in control and kept her pace and variety of shots to win in three. 

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PSA $51,250 Women’s Cleveland Classic 2020, Cleveland Racquet Club, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Second Round:
[1] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [9/16] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 8-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9 (71m)
[9/16] Farida Mohamed (EGY) bt [7] Salma Hany (EGY) 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4 (35m)
[5] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt [9/16] Menna Nasser (EGY) 12-10, 3-0 ret. (21m)
[4] Annie Au (HKG) bt [9/16] Nadine Shahin (EGY) 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (24m)
[3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [9/16] Menna Hamed (EGY) 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (33m)
[6] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [9/16] Mayar Hany (EGY) 18-16, 11-3, 11-3 (34m)
[9/16] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) bt [8] Victoria Lust (ENG) 11-7, 12-10, 11-7 (29m)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) bt [9/16] Hollie Naughton (CAN) 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (27m) 

[1] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [9/16] Farida Mohamed (EGY)
[4] Annie Au (HKG) v [5] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
[3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [6] Alison Waters (ENG)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) v [9/16] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA)

Picture courtesy of ANDREA DAWSON


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