The United States Women’s National Team competing in the Shop.ca 2014 World Squash Federation Women’s World Team Squash Championship, December 1-6, has been announced.
The four-player team traveling to Niagara-on-the-lake, Canada, will be comprised of player-coach and 2013 U.S. Champion Natalie Grainger, world No. 10 and 2012 U.S. Champion Amanda Sobhy, world No. 39 Olivia Blatchford, and defending U.S. National and Junior champion Sabrina Sobhy.
Blatchford and Sabrina Sobhy will be aiming to continue their national team success after defeating Canada in September’s Pan American Olympic Festival Women’s Team final to bring home gold medals.
Just twenty-one-years-old and supported by the Elite Athlete Program, Blatchford has enjoyed a successful year on the Women’s Squash Association World Tour winning the largest title of her career in September—the $15, 000 Abierto Mexicano de Raquetas. This will be the Connecticut-native’s third appearance in the World Team Championship.
The younger of the Sobhy sisters, Sabrina, world No. 51 and seventeen-years-old, will be aiming to bounce back from losing both of her WSA matches since the Pan Ams. Sabrina recorded the biggest upset of her career against Canadian world No. 30 Samantha Cornett in the Pan Ams Team final, and recently found out that she will be following in her sister’s footsteps in attending Harvard University next year. This will be Sobhy’s second appearance in the World Team Championship.
The elder Sobhy sister, Amanda, is in the midst of her senior year at Harvard University following the best spell of her professional career this summer. In August, Amanda reached the semifinals of two WSA World Series Semifinals in Hong Kong and Malaysia, which propelled the twenty-one-year-old to her highest career world ranking of ten in September. This will be her second World Team Championship appearance.
Former world No. 1 Grainger fills the role of player-coach once again for the United States in her first international appearance since winning the World Masters 35+ gold medal this summer.
The Women’s World Team Squash Championship is the pinnacle women’s event on the international squash calendar. Held every two years, this year’s event will feature nine of the top ten players in the world and the best female squash players from twenty countries on six continents will take part. Canada is hosting the event for the fourth time in the Championship’s history.
Team USA’s best finish in the Women’s World Team Championship is sixth place, which was achieved in both Birmingham, England, in 1979, and Perth, Australia, in 1983. Most recently, Team USA finished twelfth in the 2012 edition held in Nimes, France.