Team USA will enter the 2022 WSF Women’s World Team Championship–the first to be held in four years–seeded for what would be its highest finish ever of second place as the world’s top teams aim to capture international squash’s biggest prize, December 10-16, at the Madinaty Sports Club in Cairo, Egypt.
Team USA recorded its highest finish of fifth at the last three tournaments in 2014, 2016 and 2018, and if seedings hold will face title favorites and hosts Egypt in the final.
The U.S. will discover its pool opponents during a live draw on Wednesday, December 7. Pool play will open the tournament December 10-12 followed by the knock out stages December 13-16. Follow live streaming and more tournament updates on wsfwomensteams.com.
The U.S. squad includes four top twenty-ranked players including world No. 5 Amanda Sobhy, world No. 10 Olivia Fiechter, world No. 15 Sabrina Sobhy and world No. 20 Olivia Blatchford Clyne. The Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach Ong Beng Hee will lead the squad in Egypt.
Amanda Sobhy enters her fifth world team championship with a 16-5 career record and will play in the No. 1 position.
“It’s been four years in the making and I think we’ve all been looking forward to this event for a long time,” Amanda said. “The two extra years we were handed has only made us hungrier and has allowed us to grow as individuals, improve and get our rankings up to showcase who we are as players and the dominant force that Team USA is. To be seeded two is a huge privilege, not something we’re taking lightly and we’re really looking forward to it. We know that we can rival Egypt and to be playing in Egypt against the best team in the world is truly the biggest stage. We know it won’t be easy, but we’re excited to compete for each other, US Squash, our country and everyone who’s supported us in the process.”
Over the last four years since the last Women’s World Teams, Fiechter and Sabrina Sobhy have risen up the ranks and made history joining Amanda Sobhy and Blatchford Clyne in the top twenty–the first time four Americans have ever been ranked in the top twenty at the same time. Fiechter is set for her second tournament appearance a decade after her first in 2012 and is set to play in the No. 2 position.
“The first time I played at the Women’s World Team Championships I was 17 years old and it’s been a long time since then and I know I’m very different player than I was back then,” Fiechter said. “I was just so excited to be representing the senior women’s team on the world stage at the time, it’s the greatest honor you can have playing for your country. I couldn’t be more excited to be on the team again. When I decided to go pro in 2018 this was definitely one of my goals to make this team and represent our country at the world team championship. I know everyone’s working really hard and we’ve all had great seasons. There’s no reason why we can’t take it home and if we all play our best squash, anything’s possible. If I’ve learned anything from my professional career so far, it’s that don’t limit yourself with your goals and the sky is the limit. All of us are playing incredible squash at the moment. We’re fortunate to have a year under our belt at the Specter Center with the incredible staff supporting us. When we all play our best squash we’re some of the best players in the world.”
Sabrina Sobhy will make her fifth career tournament appearance and will play in the No. 3 position.
“It’s been a long time since the last women’s world teams event,” Sabrina said. “I’m looking forward to the team environment. These events are rare and when we’re able to be in a team setting it’s really inspiring and exciting and adds a whole other level of competition compared to individual events. We definitely have one of our strongest teams ever, if not ever, which is really exciting. The number two seed is inspiring but also puts a target on our backs. Knowing our personalities and how much we’ve grown in our squash games, and the passion we all have, we’re very much up for it. It adds to an even greater challenge than other past events knowing that we’re expected to and are capable of reaching the final. Hopefully we can give every team a run for its money and show the rest of the squash world just how strong our team is.”
Blatchford Clyne, who will serve as an alternate, enters the team with the most women’s world teams experience spanning six appearances since her debut in 2008.
“To be a part of this generation of players is huge,” Blatchford Clyne said. “I remember my first women’s world teams in 2008 where we finished fifteenth in Egypt. It’s incredible to be in such a strong lineup like this. Excited is an understatement. It’s been incredible see the growth of U.S. squash since then–it takes time. To see the maturation of US Squash and to see the talents, dedication and hard work, to see the effort levels–it really is a testament to the amount of growth that we’ve made with the game expanding and the quality of players that we have. To be seeded two in the world and to be expected to reach the final against the best team in the world is both an honor and completely realistic and totally deserved. I’d like to get on court as much as possible, we have four players all in the top twenty, I want to be ready to go and I think all of us want to make our seed. If we find ourselves in the final against Egypt, we can’t underestimate that type of ceremony and occasion. Who knows, if we find ourselves at 1-all just like we did against them in the 2011 world juniors final, to be in that same space now at the senior level would be really special.”
Team USA will compete alongside sixteen other nations with defending champions Egypt leading the field on home soil with four top-ten players: world No. 1 Nouran Gohar, world No. 2 Nour El Sherbini, world No. 3 Hania El Hammamy and world No. 6 Nour El Tayeb.