Two victories by the Sobhy sisters propelled Team USA past northern neighbors Canada in the final WSF Women’s World Team Championship Pool B match, securing second place behind England and a spot in the quarterfinal knock out rounds at St. Cloud Club in Paris, France.
In what was a rematch of their decisive Pool match at the 2014 Women’s World Team Championship, both sides fielded teams including two players that competed two years ago. Unlike 2014, Canada took an early lead as former world No. 28 Samantha Cornett defeated world No. 30 Olivia Blatchford in three games at the No. 2 position in the first match.
U.S. champion and world No. 7 Amanda Sobhy followed on, maintaining her unbeaten tournament record with a third victory, this time over Canadian national champion Hollie Naughton in three games and nineteen minutes.
2014 U.S. champion and Harvard sophomore, Sabrina Sobhy, contested the decisive rubber match in her first appearance in Paris and in an all-Ivy League match against Canadian Cornell graduate Danielle Letourneau. Sobhy earned a 2-0 lead, but Letourneau gave Canada new life by winning the third. Sobhy came back strong in the fourth, clinching the overall match 11-2 in the fourth, sending the U.S. women into the world team quarterfinals for the second consecutive tournament.
“You could feel the tension in the room and it was gut check time, ” said Paul Assaiante, Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach. “Olivia found Sam Cornett just too strong and that put Canada up 1-0. Sam used to be Canada’s number one player but after a foot injury her ranking had dropped to where she played No. 2.”
“Amanda coming off of two brutal days in a row put on a world class display of pace and shot making against Hollie, ” Assaiante continued. “Sabrina just got off the plane due to passport issues and we immediately threw her to the wolves. Reeham had a sixty minute match yesterday and now it was Sabrina’s turn. Sabrina started off fast with leads in the first and second, but a close third game was nip and tuck and she started to fade. We weren’t sure what to expect in game four, but the volley drops started flying off the Sobhy racquet and she pulled away to give us the win in the fourth.”
Team USA faces a daunting task in the quarterfinals Thursday morning with Egypt, the top seeds, awaiting the U.S. in the opening quarterfinal match. Live stream the match on the glass court at Palais Des Sports Robert Charpentier at 11:30am local time, 5:30am ET, on the Women’s World Team Championship live streaming page.
For more reports, images and more information visit the WSF Women’s World Team Championship official website.