Team USA’s Amanda Sobhy held off a two-game comeback to edge Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb 12-10 in the fifth game to reach her first career NAZA PSA Women’s World Championship quarterfinal Wednesday at the National Squash Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Sobhy got off to a strong start against El Tayeb, who hasn’t played in a PSA event since sustaining an injury in October’s Delaware Investments U.S. Open, taking the first two games 11-0, 11-7. El Tayeb, who reached a career high of world No. 5 in November, clawed back to win the third and fourth games 11-4, 11-7.
A narrow fifth game saw Sobhy pull away to lead 9-6 after what Sobhy described as a “monster” rally. El Tayeb then fought off two match balls down 8-10 to force a tie breaker. At 10-10, the American world No. 7 pulled away to win the match 12-10.
“It was such a strong start but I kind of knew that she would be slow in the beginning because this her first tournament back and this is a big match for her, ” Sobhy said.
“I tried to play at a fast pace, one that she’s not really used to, and it caught her off guard in the second game. I knew that she would get stronger and stronger and adapt in each game and that she would start to put her shots together, which she did in the fourth. I dropped the pace off a little bit, so she got comfortable, and it was neck and neck all the way to the end.
“That rally was a monster and 9-6 is totally different to 8-7. Whoever won that rally got a lot of confidence and, even though I got up to 10-8 and she caught me back, I was very happy to pull it off.”
Sobhy’s quarterfinal opponent is Egyptian world No. 3 Raneem El Welily, whom Sobhy defeated in the quarterfinals of January’s Tournament of Champions in their most recent encounter. Their match is streaming live on SquashTV at 5:30pm local time, 5:30am ET.
For full tournament coverage, visit www.psawwckualalumpur.com.