For the first time in PSA World Tour history, three Americans are ranked in world’s top twenty as Sabrina Sobhy, now world No. 20, joins her older sister and world No. 7, Amanda, and world No. 13 Olivia Blatchford Clyne in the first rankings run of 2021.
The three Americans finished 2020 on a high note together at the Gold Black Ball Open last month, where all three helped their rankings with first-round wins. In the second round, Blatchford Clyne narrowly lost out to world No. 9 Tesni Evans in a five-game battle, while world No. 1 Nour El Sherbini ended Sabrina Sobhy’s run. Amanda Sobhy then captured one of the biggest wins of her career as she upset El Sherbini in a five-game quarterfinal to reach her first Platinum semifinal since April 2019.
While Amanda Sobhy and Blatchford Clyne have solidified their top twenty rankings in recent years, Sabrina Sobhy’s rise has accelerated over the course of 2020, her first full calendar year as a full-time professional. The twenty-four-year-old opened 2020 by reaching her first PSA Platinum third round at the Tournament of Champions, which she repeated at the Egyptian Open in October.
“I was incredibly thrilled to have started the new year with a career high ranking of 20,” Sabrina Sobhy said. “It’s been a tremendously chaotic, stressful, and frustrating year, so to have been able to have secured a spot in the top 20 was quite exceptional for me.”
WOW!! 🤩🤩🤩 So proud of the sissy for cracking the Top 20 & proud that 3 @TeamUSA women are ranked inside the Top 20 for the first time ever!! Here’s to more firsts & rising up the ranks 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽 #NewYear https://t.co/N7oW7ZqDso
— Amanda Sobhy (@itssobhytime) January 1, 2021
“This is a remarkable achievement for these three women,” said Paul Assaiante, Ganek Family US Squash National Coach. “I’m praying for COVID to go away so that they can go out there and establish their place in the world of squash that they’ve worked so hard to get to. They’re all dressed up with no place to go. Pretty soon they’re going to be out there making all of the noise. What a wonderful thing to establish and build on.”
Two years ago, the top twenty trio earned three gold medals together at the 2019 Pan American Games.
“It’s terribly exciting and exactly what we want for Team USA and the game in the U.S.,” Assaiante said. “I think we’re now set up to make a deep run at the World Team Championship. At the Pan American Games, these three women went up with all of the pressure on their shoulders to accomplish what they did. That pressure was extreme. Then to see them be great teammates as they screamed on the men they reached their own gold was super cool. The women are leading the way for US Squash. As a father of four daughters, I couldn’t be happier.”
Twenty-five-year-old Olivia Fiechter continues her push up the world rankings in hopes of joining her teammates in the top twenty. Fiechter achieved a career high ranking of world No. 32 last October, which she has maintained in the new year. Twenty-seven-year-old Haley Mendez also secured a career high ranking of world No. 41 at the end of 2020, which she carries into the new year.
On the men’s side, three-time U.S. champion Todd Harrity reached his highest world ranking since November 2019, rising to world No. 54 thanks to three major tournament appearances at the end of 2020. Seattle-based Shahjahan Khan sits just four places behind Harrity at world No. 58 having achieved a career high ranking of world No. 57 last month. Veteran Chris Gordon and two-time U.S. champion Chris Hanson begin 2021 at world No. 74 and world No. 75, respectively.