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Former world No. 1 and eight-time world champion Nicol David handed Amanda Sobhy a defeat in her World Series Finals debut Tuesday in Dubai.
Playing on the doorstep of the world’s tallest building—the Burj Khalifa—David opened group play with a two-game victory over Sobhy in Group A.
The American world No. 8 nearly forced the match into a decisive third game when she fought off a match ball and went on to earn game ball 11-10 in the second game, but David responded to win the match 11-6, 13-11 in twenty-six minutes.
“This is my first time playing in Dubai and it’s just spectacular to be competing here in front of the Burj Khalifa, ” David said after the match. “All the players are really excited to be here and it just spurs us on to play even better squash. Amanda played some very good shots today and I let her in at times and she took it on when she had an opportunity. But I just stuck to my guns and managed to get the win in the end.”
“The best of three format really does mean you to be on your game from the very first point and I think because of that everyone is upping their level—and it’s great for the crowd as well to see that intensity. You don’t want to let anyone in confidence-wise and I was very happy to win 2-0 in the end.”
“I had to keep my head firm on the ground through the match because this format just makes you sharper.”
Sobhy will face Egypt’s world No. 6 Nouran Gohar Wednesday, May 25, at 1pm ET. Gohar will also be looking to respond after losing her group opener against Laura Massaro Tuesday.
The 2016 World Series Finals are the first edition of the tournament to feature a women’s draw since 2013.
“It’s tremendous that the event is back on the calendar. The girls are all really happy to be part of event with the men and to showcase the sport – how tough it is – and bring it to a new audience and show them what squash is all bout is great for us all. It’s good to be here in Dubai and I think we’ll both bring our best games and push each other again.”
All matches are streaming live on SquashTV.
Visit www.worldseriesfinals.com for full tournament coverage.