Team USA has the opportunity to match its best Women’s World Team Championship finish of fifth place, after defeating Australia in the first round of the 5-8 playoff Friday at Palais des Sports in Paris, France.
Two, three-game victories from Amanda and Sabrina Sobhy sealed the victory over the higher-seeded Australian team.
Amanda Sobhy, world No. 7, led off the match and notched her fourth win of the tournament against world No. 20 Donna Urquhart in thirty-four minutes. Making her second appearance in the tournament, Sabrina Sobhy sealed the overall score for the U.S. with an emphatic 11-6, 11-1, 11-4 upset over world No. 46 Christine Nunn in twenty-two minutes. With the match settled, the U.S. opted out of playing the dead rubber match to rest No. 2 Olivia Blatchford ahead of the fifth-place playoff Saturday.
The Malaysian team that finished runners up two years ago followed on the glass court after the U.S., defeating eight seeds New Zealand 2-0 to advance to the fifth place match.
“The girls were so up for it, ” said Thierry Lincou, U.S. National Coach. “Amanda did her job. After a slow start she was in control of most of the rallies and was able to dictate her pace with good volleying and short game. We did not really know what to expect with the second match between Sabrina and Christine, but we knew that Sabrina had the game to win, especially on the glass court which rewards good length and attacks in general. After a pretty close first game, Sabrina got more and more confident in her shots, and her deception and variations were devastating.”
The U.S. No. 1 said she was pleased to defeat the higher-seeded Australians after a tough quarterfinal draw against top seeds Egypt with a lower seeding.
“This was a very tough one, ” Amanda Sobhy said. “We really wanted to come out and make a statement because Australia was seeded six and I think that we should have been seeded six, which would have changed our pool dramatically and given us a much better draw to eventually get to the semis. So we were very bummed about that and we wanted to go in today and prove that we’re the better team. I’m very pleased with with the 3-0 win. It’s so important to win that first match to gain confidence and say we can do this.”
The fifth place playoff is first on the glass court on the final day of the competition, Saturday. Live stream the match at 12pm local time, 6am 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.