Sobhy Sisters reach Semi-Finals in contrasting fashion
USA’s Amanda Sobhy and Sabrina Sobhy have both made it through to the semi-finals of the MARIGOLD Singapore Squash Open, after securing very different victories on the fourth day of the PSA World Tour Gold level tournament at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
Older sister Amanda, the top seed for the women’s competition, took on Belgium’s Nele Gilis in the first match of the day, holding a 3-1 advantage over Gilis in their previous four meetings. She also won their only meeting this year, which came at the CIB PSA World Championships Cairo in May.
It was the Belgian who started strongly, and after seeing Sobhy fight back in the middle of the opening game, she won four straight points from 6-6 onwards to set up a first game win. The World No.14 then took the lead again after the third game, responding to Sobhy’s win in the second.
Gilis then almost managed to seal the deal at the end of the fourth. She saved two game balls, but a stroke on the last of those gave the American the 11-9 win she needed to extend the contest into a decider. After a quick start from Sobhy in the fifth game, Gilis brought it level to 8-8, making it a three-point shoot-out. It was the Belgian who had the first match ball, but the World No.4 was able to save it at 10-9, before winning the next two points to claim a 12-10 victory in the fifth, to book her spot in the last four, where she will now face Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb.
“I had to try a little bit harder, a bit more effort, kick myself up a gear. It was helpful not to have to do it alone, and to have someone in my corner to tell me those things. So thank you Diego [Elias]. She gets a lot of balls back, so it’s having to win the rally a few times to actually win the rally. It was a really good match and I am just pleased that I was the winner in the end.”
The American’s exceptional movement was on full show, getting back several shots that may well have been winners against other opponents. The World No.18’s retrieval abilities kept her in the big points, and she was able to wrap up the victory in straight games, making it two Sobhys in the last four in Singapore.
“It feels awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better week so far in Singapore, it’s been really chilled and relaxing, the hospitality has been fantastic and it adds a level of ease that all the players look for. I feel like I’ve had that this week and that has made me a little more relaxed on court and found some more enjoyment in there and I’ve been having a great time,” Sobhy said.
“I appreciate the crowd and the liveliness that the atmosphere has. SJ [Perry] is one of those players who will make you run to every corner frantically, which I definitely felt in many rallies for nearly the entire game but somehow, I managed to sneak it out in the end. Each rally was physically and definitely difficult which is why she’s one of the best squash players.”
The men’s quarter finals all went to seeding. England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy got the better of Egypt’s Tarek Momen in a battle of two former World Champions, and he will now take on Welsh No.1 Joel Makin in the last four. The other semi-final will see Peru’s Diego Elias and Egypt’s Mostafa Asal do battle on Saturday.