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Top seeds Nour El Tayeb and Amanda Sobhy in Texas final

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Texas Open finalists Amanda Sobhy and Nour El Tayeb
Texas Open finalists Amanda Sobhy and Nour El Tayeb

Texas finalists renew junior rivalry
By HOWARD HARDING  – Squash Mad Correspondent

The top two seeds Nour El Tayeb and Amanda Sobhy set up a mouthwatering final of the 2015 Women’s Texas Open after prevailing in the semi-finals of the WSA International 35 squash event at Life Time Fitness in Plano, USA.

unnamedEgyptian favourite El Tayeb, making her debut in the 14th edition of this popular event on the WSA World Tour and looking to keep the title in Egyptian hands, recorded her first straight games win in the event by despatching twice former champion Rachael Grinham, the No.4 seed from Australia, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 in just 24 minutes.

“I’m a little disappointed, not with the result but that I was a bit off today and win or lose I just prefer to come off the court knowing I’ve played well,” explained former world number one Grinham afterwards.

“I would have liked to have given her a better run for her money but I was too loose and you can’t afford not to be at your best against someone like Nour.”

El Tayeb, now in the eighth WSA Tour final of her career and looking for her first title since 2012, was delighted with the outcome: “Of course. I’m very happy to be in the final. I know I keep saying it but playing against Rachael is never easy for me – it’s hard mentally and physically.

“So I’m very happy to get through to the finals,” added the 22-year-old world No.5 from Cairo. “I’m enjoying it here so hopefully I can keep going.

“Tomorrow, I’m playing my good friend and junior rival Amanda. I’m sure we’re going to enjoy it as we always do. And hopefully we can put on a good match that people will enjoy!”

Second seed Sobhy scored her first Tour win over fellow left-hander Annie Au, beating the No.3 seed from Hong Kong 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7 in 40 minutes.

unnamed“I’m very happy to be in the finals of the Texas Open,” said the New York-born 21-year-old who next month graduates from Harvard University.

“This is my first final of a 35k and also my first win over Annie. She is such a talented player and I knew I had to get the ball to the back or else she would put it away.

“Tomorrow I am playing Nour, who I have played numerous times in juniors,” added the world No.10, now in the 14th Tour final of her career and her 10th on home soil. “We always have a good match, so hopefully tomorrow will be another good match between us!

“Sanjeeb and his team are doing an amazing job with this tournament and I am just happy that I am able to come back to Dallas and play here.”

The final will mark the pair’s ninth meeting since first contesting the British Junior Under-15 Open quarter-finals in 2008. The Egyptian reigned supreme in four consecutive British Junior Open clashes until 2011 – but Sobhy proved invincible in the 2010 World Junior Championship final in Germany, where she beat El Tayeb in four games to become the USA’s first ever world squash champion.

Women’s Texas Open, Plano, Texas, USA

Semi-finals:
[1] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [4] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (24m)
[2] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [3] Annie Au (HKG) 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7 (40m)

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