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Amanda Sobhy

Season Review: Ones to Watch: Part 2

Another incredible season on the PSA World Tour drew to a close last month as England’s Laura Massaro and Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy laid claim to the PSA Dubai World Series Finals titles.

Over the past few weeks we have been looking back at the major moments that lit up the PSA World Tour during 2016/17 and have already looked at the outstanding performers, breakthrough stars, biggest shocks, comebacks and rallies of the season.

In this part of our season review, we’re continuing to look at the players who have done enough to suggest that they will be looking to make a big impact next season.

You can read part one here.

Joel Makin

Joel Makin

Welshman Joel Makin continued to make strides on the PSA World Tour during the 2016/17 season.

Makin broke into the world’s top 50 for the first time in his career in 2017 and secured his first Tour title since his 2015 victory at the City of Greater Bendigo International.

The 22-year-old improved on his runner-up finish at the Kent Open the season before when he came through to overpower local hero Josh Masters to take the 2017 title in straight games.

In front of a packed gallery at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, Kent, Makin dominated the match and settled into a comfortable rhythm early on to quickly build up an 8-1 lead in the first game to set up the platform for victory.

Makin was then able to see out an 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 win in 37 minutes to seal his second ever PSA World Tour title.

The Welsh No.1 will look to improve next season and continue his rise up the PSA World Rankings.

Amanda Sobhy

Amanda Sobhy

USA’s Amanda Sobhy suffered a frustrating season as an Achilles injury at the Ciudad de Flordiablanca curtailed her 2016/17 campaign.

Sobhy recorded runner-up finishes at both the Hong Kong Open and the NetSuite Open in 2016 as she fell to Egypt’s Nouran Gohar and England’s Laura Massaro respectively and recorded a career of World No.6 in the October 2016 World Rankings.

However, injury struck in 2017 when top seed Sobhy’s tournament came to an abrupt end after the United States No.1 tore her Achilles during her semi-final match at the Ciudad de Flordiablanca against compatriot Olivia Blatchford.

Sobhy had been putting in an imperious display against her Team USA teammate as she powered two games ahead, taking them 11-1, 11-6 as she dominated.

But disaster struck at 10-5 up in the third game when she was on the verge of securing a place in the final as Sobhy’s Achilles on her left leg gave way as she set off to chase down a drop, leaving the then-World No.6 crumpled on the floor and forced to retire from the match and tournament.

After having surgery back in March, Sobhy has set her sights on a return to action in time for December’s World Championships in Manchester and will be hoping to return stronger than ever in the new season as she looks to break into the world’s top 5.

Tsz Fung Yip

Tsz Fung Yip

Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip broke into the world’s top 30 for the first time this season as he claimed his first PSA World Tour title since 2015.

Yip claimed his first ever PSA World Tour title outside of Asia at the weekend as he dispatched Qatari then-World No.38 Abdullah Mohd Al Tamimi in the final of the Holtrand Open.

The 23-year-old, whose previous three PSA World Tour titles came on the 2015 Malaysian Tour, dispatched Hong Kong’s Leo Au in the semi-final to move into the final, where he recovered from going 2-1 down against Al Tamimi.

However, Yip dug deep to grind out wins on the tie-break in games four and five to close out an 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 12-10 victory to seal his maiden PSA M25 title.

Yip finished the season with early round exits at the British Open, Bellevue Squash Classic and Sporta Guatemala X Torneo Internacional PSA Sporta.

Hong Kong’s Yip is currently ranked World No.29 and will be eyeing further improvements next season as he looks to build on his undoubted potential.

Millie Tomlinson

England’s Millie Tomlinson made the 2016/17 season one to remember as she reached the world’s top 30 and claimed her biggest ever PSA World Tour title.

Tomlinson has been quietly climbing up the World Rankings in recent years and broke into the world’s top 30 for the first time in her career in the May 2017 rankings and reached a career high of World No.26 in June.

Tomlinson lifted her biggest ever PSA World Tour title when she defeated Canada’s Samantha Cornett over four games at October’s Granite Open.

The 25-year-old then backed this up with runner-up finishes at the Monte Carlo Classic and at the Irish Squash Open to finish the season, where she lost out to Victoria Lust and Nele Gilis.

Tomlinson will be targeting more titles during the 2017/18 season as she continues to improve on the PSA World Tour.

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