Amanda Sobhy captured her first major professional title–the 2021 Oracle NetSuite Open–with a commanding three game final performance on the picturesque San Francisco Embarcadero Monday night, September 27.
The American world No. 6 did not drop a game all tournament, taking advantage of the best-of-three games format through the semifinals with decisive 2-0 victories over Egypt’s Nadine Shahine, Wales’ Tesni Evans’ and two-time Oracle NetSuite Open champion Sarah-Jane Perry.
Monday night’s final against world No. 9 Salma Hany was no different in the best-of-give games format as the twenty-eight-year old clinched the title 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 in thirty-two minutes on a cool night in the Bay Area.
Sobhy celebrates her second title in San Francisco having won the inaugural $25,000 women’s draw in 2015. The tournament has grown year on year and offered Gold draws of $242,000 in equal prize money–the tournament’s biggest prize fund in its ninth year on the Embarcadero.
“There is literally steam coming off of my forehead. I am speechless, honestly,” Sobhy said. “I haven’t won a major title before and if I cry, it has been an emotional week! It has been a long year, I am a bit frazzled so for me to win is extra special. Those close to me knew the state I was in last week so I have to thank my support system this past week.”
The Oracle NetSuite Open marks Sobhy’s first career PSA Gold title, surpassing a previous career milestone in 2019 when the American won the PSA Bronze $55,000 Texas Open.
“It really means a lot, to come back after winning it in 2015, and now to win it at a Gold level, it really means a lot, and to do it on home soil is massive,” Sobhy said. “I thank you all for being here in the cold and the rain and for supporting me all week. I was a little bit edgy, I tried not to think it was a final. We were both vying for our first major title, and so the nerves came. I felt a bit tense, but I tried to be as aggressive as possible. We had one massive rally in the third and I definitely felt that after a week of short matches! I am very pleased to have won in three.”
Sobhy is joined by fellow Harvard graduate and world No. 1 Ali Farag on the champion’s podium, who marks his second Oracle NetSuite Open title and first since 2018.
“There is a massive college squash community,” Sobhy said. “There has been a discussion whether going to college and then going pro helps or hinders your pro career. It is a testament to see all of us college players do well on the pro tour and choose the college route. It makes it possible and I hope more people are encouraged to do that.”
The focus of the squash world now shifts to Philadelphia, where the Arlen Specter US Squash Center will celebrate its Grand Opening, October 2, during the 2021 U.S. Open presented by Truist, October 1-6.