Amanda Sobhy’s run in the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family and Equitrust came to an end Monday night following a quarterfinal defeat against Joelle King at the University Club of Chicago.
On the heels of a top ten upset in the second round against Nouran Gohar, the American world No. 30 was poised for a second match in two weeks against the New Zealand world No. 9.
As she did two weeks ago in Cleveland, King earned a two game lead and held two match balls in the third game. Sobhy fought off both match balls and took the third game 15-13 to send the match into a fourth. King regained control in the fourth, however, sealing the match 11-6 after forty-four minutes.
“She’s really annoying, she just doesn’t go away,” jested King after the match. “She’s had an amazing tournament already and I knew she was going to be hungry to come out and beat me. We played last week and I beat her in three. She’s getting better and better each week so I had to regain my focus and come back and play my game in the fourth.”
The Windy City Open marks Sobhy’s third tournament since returning to the PSA Tour following a ten-month injury layoff due to a ruptured Achilles. Three years ago, King sustained a ruptured Achilles, which kept her off the PSA Tour for nearly a year.
“‘Sobs’ and I are really good friends,” King said. “When I got injured she was one of the first players who messaged me and was there for me. It’s nice that I was able to offer the same advice and help guide her through the process. It’s just really impressive to see her back. It took me a lot longer to get back to this level than what it has her, so well done Amanda.”
Elsewhere in Chicago, both Egyptian married couples Nour El Tayeb and Ali Farag, and Raneem El Welily and Tarek Momen advanced to the semifinals.
El Tayeb, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, pulled off the most significant result of the day, coming back from 2-0 down against world No. 1 Nour El Sherbini to eliminate her compatriot in five games.
“Nour is an unbelievable player and we have had a lot of battles this season,” said 24-year-old El Tayeb following her win. “My coach and husband Ali [Farag] told me to dig in and told me not to worry about the first two games because I was playing well. Being 2-0 down against Nour El Sherbini is probably the hardest thing in the world on a squash court but I just thought I am playing so well and so I just let loose but it was close all the way.”
El Tayeb’s husband, Farag, followed on court and recorded his own victory against Cameron Pilley to join his wife in the semifinals.
Momen preceded El Welily on court and pulled off a three-game upset against three seed Karim Abdel Gawad to reach his first Windy City Open semifinal. El Welily, three-time defending Windy City Open Champion, followed on court to record her eighteenth consecutive victory in Cathedral Hall against Alison Waters.
“Obviously Tarek was playing before me, so I was warming up during his match and it’s fantastic that he won today,” El Welily said. “He’s been playing well and it’s a big win for him and I’m happy that we’re both in the semifinals—it doesn’t happen that often.”
Watch Tuesday’s semifinals live on SquashTV from 5:30pm local time, 6:30pm EST.
For tickets and more tournament coverage visit www.windycityopen.com.