Thursday, February 29, 2024

Sabrina Sobhy stuns Hania El Hammamy to join sister Amanda in U.S. Open quarter-finals

By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)

World No.20 Sabrina Sobhy has reached the quarter-finals of a PSA World Tour Platinum event for the first time after she stunned World No.2 Hania El Hammamy at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center to join older sister Amanda in the last eight.

It marks the first time that two American women will line up in the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open. Sobhy put in a sensational performance to claim the biggest win of her career, while also ending El Hammamy’s run of three successive Platinum title wins.

The only time Sobhy stopped buzzing around court was during a tense check for an out of court shot by El Hammamy after the Egyptian had saved two match balls. Upon confirmation that the ball was out, there was a deafening roar inside the Specter Center as the fans saluted their home hero.

Sobhy’s reward for her 11-8, 13-15, 11-7, 11-9 victory in 62 minutes is a last eight clash with No.5 seed Joelle King, a player she has yet to beat in six previous appearances.

King turned in a solid performance to beat Belgium’s Tinne Gilis 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 in  27 minutes.

Sobhy, who lives just 10 minutes away from the Specter Center, said: “I haven’t processed it yet. It’s been very fast-paced since the end of the match. I felt still and in the present, but there has been a whirlwind of emotions ever since the match ended.

“I can’t even express how proud I am of myself and how composed I felt on court. It’s a feeling that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.

“[The crowd] made it more fun and enjoyable, it was awesome. Other players can relate, we are trying to put on a show in tournaments, not just for ourselves and our opponents, but for the crowd too. We want to show how awesome, physical and creative this sport it.”

Nour El Sherbini defies injury to battle past Tesni Evans

World No.3 Nour El Sherbini put in a performance befitting her ‘Warrior Princess’ nickname as she recovered from a nasty injury and fought through the pain barrier to reach the quarter-finals at the expense of Wales’ Tesni Evans.

The first game was an onslaught from El Sherbini as the Egyptian dropped just a single point, opening up a one-game lead. But at 6-6 in the second, she slipped while chasing a ball down and looked in real pain as she required physio treatment.

El Sherbini, sporting an ankle brace and strapping around her right ankle, played on but found it hard to move around court as Evans closed out the second game, and then the third in one-sided style, leaving El Sherbini’s title hopes in tatters.

El Sherbini has never been one to let injury affect her game, winning both the 2021 Allam British Open and the 2018-19 PSA World Championships despite struggling with a knee injury. And here she came back from the brink to edge the fourth game and then stormed to victory in the decider to earn her place in the last eight.

Nour El Sherbini receives treatment on court as Tesni Evans Looks on

Regarding her injury, she said: “It’s not very bad, but I have to check it tomorrow. I have a day off tomorrow, so I’ll try and treat it and hopefully I’ll be ready after tomorrow. I’ve been put in this situation many times. I have experience of playing with injuries and hopefully I’m going to recover and be ready for the rest of the week.”

El Sherbini will take on No.8 seed Salma Hany for a place in the semi-finals after Hany dispatched USA’s Olivia Clyne in three games.

The quarter-finals of the U.S. Open are split over two days (October 12). All of today’s action will be shown live on SQUASHTV from 17:30 local time (GMT-4).

PSA Platinum 2022 U.S. Open, Arlen Specter Center, Philadelphia, USA.

Women’s Third Round (Bottom Half): 
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt [3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 13-15, 11-7, 11-9 (62m)
[5] Joelle King (NZL) bt Tinne Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 (27m)
[8] Salma Hany (EGY) bt Olivia Clyne (USA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 15-13 (48m)
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-2: 11-1, 7-11, 2-11, 11-6, 11-2 (57m)

Women’s Quarter-Finals (Top Half, October 12):
[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [7] Rowan Elaraby (EGY)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [4] Amanda Sobhy (USA)

Women’s Quarter-Finals (Bottom Half, October 13):
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) v [5] Joelle King (NZL)
[8] Salma Hany (EGY) v [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour 


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