Team USA’s Amanda Sobhy, Olivia Blatchford Clyne and Olivia Fiechter made history by becoming the first three Americans to reach the third round in the same PSA Platinum event Sunday, March 14, at the CIB Black Ball Open in Cairo, Egypt.
Fiechter, world No. 33, was the first of the trio to advance on Saturday, March 13, when she outlasted world No. 31 Melissa Alves in five games. The result marked Fiechter’s first career appearance in a Platinum round of sixteen.
Sobhy, world No. 7, and Blatchford Clyne, world No. 13, both joined Fiechter on Sunday when the bottom half of the women’s draw played out. Sobhy dispatched England’s Julianne Courtice 11-5, 11-7, 11-3 to set up a third round match against Egypt’s Farida Mohamed.
“I’ve had some decent results at the Black Ball Open, especially at the last one, so I’m coming off some good vibes which I’m excited about,” Sobhy said. “My dad lives between here and the tournament hotel, so it’s a home club type of vibe which is very nice. It makes me feel comfortable and happy to play.”
Blatchford Clyne closed out the day with a gritty four-game win over Cornell junior Sivasangari Subramaniam 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 moving on to a third round match against world No. 2 Nouran Gohar.
“I’m delighted to be through,” Blatchford Clyne said. “It was a brutal draw and Siva is definitely not ranked where she is supposed to be and when you see her name come up you’re definitely like “oh boy”. I knew it was going to be hard, I was hoping I was going to be able to relax at some point, not even from a ‘I’m ahead’ type of thing but just relax and play some squash. I think I did a little more boxing and gritting my teeth but I’ll take that, it’s all part of the process.”