Amanda Sobhy’s run at the 2016 NAZA PSA Women’s World Championship came to an end Thursday after world No. 3 Raneem El Welily avenged her Tournament of Champions loss against the American at the National Squash Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In their first meeting since Sobhy upset the then world No. 2 in January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions quarterfinals, El Welily returned the favor, defeating the American world No. 7 11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7 in forty-two minutes.
“It was a really tough match today, mentally more than anything else, ” said El Welily. “For some reason, I was putting too much pressure on myself. I was playing alright at the beginning of every game, but I lost a few points and these points made me lose my confidence and my focus. I think that’s what happened in the second game.
“With the heat as well, if you’re not confident enough then you’re not able to push yourself as much as you want to. I’m very happy to win today and very happy to have been tested that way and come through.”
Egyptian dominance was prevalent throughout the other quarterfinals as phenoms Nour El Sherbini and Nouran Gohar both registered victories.
El Sherbini, who scaled to a career-high of world No. 2 this month, defeated former world No. 1 and home hero Nicol David for the fifth consecutive match. Two years ago in the same arena named after David during the 2014 Women’s World Championship, El Sherbini defeated David for the first time in her career in a five-game semifinal. Two years later, El Sherbini has overtaken David in the world rankings and defeated her five times this season in the Qatar Classic, Tournament of Champions, Windy City Open, British Open and now World Championship.
“This is the fifth time I’ve played Nicol this season and I think that this was the best match we have played against each other, ” El Sherbini said.
“I always think match by match and I try not to look forward, I just want to focus on the next match. Of course, I definitely want to win the tournament and everyone wants this, but I’m just going step by step.
“We Egyptians are in good form this season and we’re all getting good results, Raneem, Nouran, Omneya, all of us. This is the only title we have never won in Egypt so hopefully it’s going to be an Egyptian winner.”
The twenty-year-old British Open and Tournament of Champions title-holder will face eighteen-year-old Gohar in the semifinals, after world No. 7 Gohar upset world No. 4 Camille Serme in five games.
2014 world champion and world No. 1 Laura Massaro is the sole non-Egyptian in the semifinals after defeating Egyptian world No. 6 Omneya Abdel Kawy in a four-game quarterfinal. The England international will face El Welily in her semifinal Friday.
The NAZA PSA Women’s World Championship semifinals are streaming live on SquashTV and Tennis Channel Everywhere Friday, April 29, from 5:30pm local time, 5:30am ET.
For full tournament coverage, visit www.psawwckualalumpur.com.