World No. 8 Amanda Sobhy is the sole American representative left at the Allam British Open–the final PSA Platinum event of the season–as three U.S. teammates falter in the second round Tuesday, May 21, at the University of Hull in England.
After enjoying a first round bye, Sobhy opened up her British Open campaign with a confident three-game victory over Canada’s world No. 34 Samantha Cornett 11-4, 11-5, 11-3 in twenty-four minutes.
“Sam has got a great all around game, and she is strong so I had to make sure I was making her run just a bit more, instead of going for the shots after the second exchange, wait for the third for example,” Sobhy said. “Also, I tried to hold the ball a bit more, because if she knows where the ball is going, she is very good at getting it back. So, holding was very important.”
Sobhy moves on to the glass court for her third round match on Wednesday, May 22, when she takes on Egypt’s top seed Raneem El Welily at 1:30pm local time, 8:30am EDT. Sobhy faced the world No. 1 twice in April, losing in three games in the El Gouna semifinals, and five games in the DPD Open quarterfinals. Watch the match live on SquashTV and PSA Facebook Live.
“Tomorrow against Raneem, the pressure won’t be on me,” Sobhy said. “I have nothing to lose, and I’ll go out and give it my all.”
World No. 20 Olivia Blatchford Clyne narrowly lost out on a spot in the last sixteen against England’s thirteen seed Victoria Lust. The hour-long match stood level at 7-all in the fifth game, when Lust earned three match balls. Blatchford Clyne fought off two match balls, but couldn’t save the third with Lust clinching the match 11-9.
“The first game, I started really well and I stuck to my gameplan, but I went a bit wobbly from there on in,” Lust admitted. “Liv was hitting some ridiculous shot and moving really well. In the end, I felt like I was trying to survive and that is sometimes what you have to do and luckily I was able to come out on top. I was worried. That made me play really well in the fourth and I think Liv maybe lost a bit of her discipline and that was the turning point. She won the third pretty comfortably and I was worried.”
Following one of the biggest wins of her young career during Monday’s first round, Olivia Fiechter’s run came to an abrupt end in unfortunate fashion against world No. 11 Annie Au, when she injured her left quad and was forced to retire in the second game.
“Olivia had a really tough match yesterday, but I saw her this morning and she seemed fine,” Au said. “She was fine for the first few points of the match. I just feel sorry for her. It is not good to win like this, but I am happy to be through to the third round.”
World No. 46 Todd Harrity came up short against world No. 41 Lucas Serme. Harrity took the first game but succumbed to a three-game comeback from the Frenchman to lose out 4-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 in forty-five minutes.
“Physically I feel alright because I didn’t have a long match yesterday so I came in to this one fresh, but I guess a bit of nerves came in with playing a lower ranked player,” Serme said. “He was playing really well, he was relaxed and everything was going in for him. I was struggling to find my targets. I was playing with a lot of pace but I was not that accurate, so it was to no avail. I think, from the second onward, I played better and I varied my pace a bit more. Then he got tired and the mistakes started to creep in. I didn’t play my best, but physically enough to squeeze the error out of him.”
All four Americans are playing on traditional side courts. Follow live streaming and scores on allambritishopen.com.