World No. 5 Amanda Sobhy advanced to her second consecutive El Gouna International Open semifinal following a four-game victory over world No. 9 Salma Hany Tuesday, May 25, in Egypt.
The quarterfinal marked a rematch of the Black Ball Open semifinals two months ago in Cairo. As in March, it was the Egyptian who took an early lead by edging the first game 11-9. Sobhy, the tournament’s four seed, then turned the match on its head, commanding a three-game turn around 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 to advance to her second consecutive semifinal round in El Gouna.
🗣 “Once I started to slow down the pace and take a few deep breaths between points, I started to find my groove.”@itssobhytime explains what she had to do to get the better of @salmahany4 in @ElGounaSquash tonight 🎥#ElGounaSquash pic.twitter.com/s10VBeCxOI
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) May 25, 2021
“She came out firing in the first game and caught me a little off guard,” Sobhy said. “I wasn’t finding my targets, so she was capitalizing in the middle of the court and really blocking me out of position and hitting winners, she is really talented. Once I started finding my length and settling it down, I think it was a bit up and down and a lot of stop-starting but it worked in my favor as it allowed me to settle a bit more. Once I started to slow down the pace and take a few deep breaths in between points then I started to find my rhythm and groove. I think it was a battle of the middle of the court and we were both trying to look to get in front of each other, so that was maybe why there was a bit more interference than I would have liked but it’s the nature of the game and once you’re on there, you’re going to do what you can to try and get in front and win points. I knew I had to keep that pressure up.”
The American reached the Black Ball Open final in March and now has the opportunity to reach her second Platinum final in a row against world No. 2 Nouran Gohar. Gohar and Sobhy’s most recent match up was a contentious Windy City Open quarterfinal that the Egyptian claimed in three games.
“I’m excited, this is my second semi-final here,” Sobhy said. “I’m looking forward to another battle and I know that Nouran is a tough competitor, so I’m going to focus on the recover, enjoy my rest day and then it’s another battle. I will chat with my coach about tactics and have a plan in place and trust in my game. I’ve put in the work and I feel like I’m ready for it.”