It was a day for twenty-one-year-old American phenoms. Hours before golfer Jordan Spieth claimed his first major title, Amanda Sobhy won the largest professional title of her career in Spieth’s hometown, Dallas.
One month after winning her second national title in her first tournament as an official professional, Sobhy made it two for two, claiming the $35, 000 Texas Open title. The Texas Open was hosted by Dallas Squash at Life Time Fitness in Plano, Texas.
In a repeat of the 2010 World Junior Championship final, the soon-to-be Harvard graduate defeated top-seeded world No. 5 Nour El Tayeb 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4.
“I am ecstatic right now, ” Sobhy said. “This is my biggest tournament tour title to date and I’m so happy to have won it here in Texas!
“The crowd has been amazing all week. Sanjeeb and his team put on a spectacular event and took care of all the players so well. I fully enjoyed my time here and really looking forward to coming back to Dallas.”
Sunday’s final marked the ninth encounter between Sobhy and El Tayeb. El Tayeb had won their most recent match in the semifinals of August’s Malaysian Open, and reached her highest career world ranking of five in April’s world rankings.
“First of all it has been a great week, ” El Tayeb said. “Everyone has been super nice and very welcoming. From the people to the organizing committee, this is one of the best organized tournaments I have been to for sure.
“Today Amanda was the better player. She played the right game. Unfortunately, I couldn’t push through today and she just played better than I did so all credit to her.”
“Nour is such a talented player and a fighter and I knew I had to be mentally and physically strong in order to beat her today, ” Sobhy said of her opponent.
Sobhy, twenty-one, has now won eight tour titles during her four years as a Harvard student, and thirteen tour titles total. The Sea Cliff, New York-native will graduate from Harvard next month, after which she will join the tour full-time while basing herself in Boston.
“I want to thank my coaches Thierry Lincou and Shahid Zaman for working with me to get ready for this tournament. I also need to thank my family for their continuous support because without them I would be nowhere. Bringing this trophy back to Harvard with me where I will finish up my last month of school before I graduate on May 28th. Hopefully this is just the start of good things to come for my pro career.”
The Texas Open’s roots run deep—tracing back to a 1999 exhibition match between former world No. 1 Sarah Fitz-Gerld and local teaching pro Aidan Harrison in Dallas. Local squash enthusiasts were inspired by the display, and raised $17, 000 to fund the WISPA Dallas Open in 2000. Since 2002, Dallas and Houston have alternated hosting the tournament.
Tournament director and Dallas Squash President Sanjeeb Samanta is running his fifth Texas Open since 2007, and has helped to grow the Dallas squash community to more than 300 players. The Texas Open is funded by private donations and a fundraising golf tournament.
The Texas Open returns to Houston in 2016.
For more Texas Open information, visit the official tournament website.