Team USA’s Amanda Sobhy and Olivia Fiechter will compete on one of the sport’s most iconic stages next to the Pyramids of Giza as they contest the CIB Egyptian Open quarterfinals Thursday and Friday, September 22-23, in Cairo.
The PSA Platinum men’s and women’s tournament opened up with the first three rounds of play held at Cairo’s Club S with matches shifting to the glass court by the Pyramids from the quarterfinals onwards. Watch all of the action live on SquashTV and visit psaworldtour.com to follow more tournament coverage.
Both Sobhy and Fiechter enjoyed a first round bye after entering the draw as four and 9/16 seeds, respectively. Sobhy comfortably progressed with a twenty-two-minute 3-0 win over Egypt’s Nadine Shahin to set up a third round match against 9/16 seed Nour El Tayeb, who defeated her younger sister Sabrina in the second round.
Fiechter endured a more challenging second round match, overcoming Egypt’s Sana Ibrahim 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 in forty-three minutes.
In the second round, Fiechter pulled off a top-ten upset with her first career win over New Zealand’s world No. 5 Joelle King. Fiechter clinched her spot in just her third career Platinum quarterfinals 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 14-12 in fifty minutes.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, Joelle is someone I have so much respect for and someone I’ve looked up to throughout juniors and in my career,” Fiechter said. “It was just so neck-and-neck. Every rally felt like a marathon. There was a lot of emotion in that match and a lot of ups and downs. It wasn’t as consistent as I’d have liked it to be, but that’s what happens when there’s a lot on the line. I was trying not to think about making it into my first quarters or getting the opportunity to play in front of the Pyramids. I was just trying to focus on my squash and I had to fight for every rally. I’m so happy that I just dug in there and kept retrieving balls and believing in myself. I can’t believe it!”
Fiechter will face Egypt’s three seed Hania El Hammamy in their first career PSA match up Friday, September 23, at 7:45pm local time, 1:45pm ET.
In the top half of the draw, Sobhy avenged her recent loss in Houston against world No. 6 Nour El Tayeb with a hard-fought four game win over the Egyptian 11-7, 12-14, 11-9, 11-6 in fifty-six minutes.
“I think it helped that she just won in Houston, she just beat me narrowly in 5, so the pressure was on her,” Sobhy said. “In Houston, I made some bad errors at crucial times, I was just excited today! Because the pressure was more on her, I could go out there and play freely. I took note of what happened in Houston, and then I wanted to apply it and go out there and enjoy it. We are feisty competitors, but I think we bring out the best out of each other, in terms of competitiveness, fair play, and good squash. It was enjoyable and it sucks that somebody had to lose.”
Sobhy will face Welsh 9/16 seed Tesni Evans Thursday, September 22 at 7:45pm local time, 1:45pm ET.
World No. 22 Olivia Blatchford Clyne narrowly missed out on joining her U.S. teammates in the quarterfinals falling short in a five-game battle against England’s six seed Sarah-Jane Perry 11-4, 16-18, 12-14, 13-11, 11-8 after seventy-one minutes.