As we reach the end of another season, the PSA's Matt Coles has been talking to the stars of the PSA World Tour about their 2018/19 campaigns. Here he catches up with US No.1 Amanda Sobhy.
Amanda Sobhy continued her return to form from injury in 2018-19, as she took home the Texas Open trophy for a second year, took back the US No.1 spot, and returned to the top eight in the World Rankings.
Despite winning in Texas, the American believes that her best performance came in El Gouna, where she reached the semi finals, despite being seeded at No.13 for the event.
“My best performance has to be in El Gouna where I made the semifinals. It was my first Platinum semi-final appearance in a while and I beat two top eight players in the process,” Sobhy explained.
Sobhy got the better of Laura Massaro in the third round, before then having to battle back from a poor start to beat Nour El Tayeb in the last eight.
“It was a mental breakthrough more for me on having to adapt to different court conditions and to have to come back from 2-0 down in the quarterfinals.”
Gouna was her first appearance in the last four of a major event for the first time since she made the semi-finals of the U.S. Open back in 2016.
The American ruptured her achilles in Floridablanca in March 2017, dropping down to No.30 in the world, but after her performances in the second half of the 2018-2019 campaign, Sobhy now sits in the top eight once more.
“I feel like overall, I am very pleased with this season. It was my first full season back since coming back from my injury and I had to grind my way back into the top 10,” she explained.
“It was definitely challenging with a lot of brutal draws, but I think with each loss, I was learning a ton and getting that much closer to a win against a top player.
“It’s a great feeling to be back inside the Top 10 again. Knowing how far I’ve come in the last year and a half and how hard I worked to get back into the top ten is really motivating.
“Being inside the top eight will set me up really nicely for next season, so I am looking forward to keep the momentum going.”
Sobhy’s one title in the campaign came at the Texas Open, an event she also won in 2018. She beat Victoria Lust in the final to defend her crown.
“I love Texas. The squash community there is so underrated because it’s a smaller community in an area where squash really isn’t played much, but they love squash and just want everyone to have a great time,” the US No.1 said of the event.
Sobhy took the Texas Open title for a second consecutive year
“Southern hospitality is a very real thing at that tournament, which is probably why I have been able to do well there. They just make you feel so comfortable and happy.”
Sobhy’s off-season will be interrupted by the Pan-American Games, which take place in July. She will be part of the United States team at the event.
“We have the PanAmerican Games held in Lima, Peru at the end of July, so I will be preparing for that,” Sobhy explained.
“The actual games is once every 4 years and it’s like our Olympics, held with all the other sports with an athlete village, so I am really excited for it.
“Plus, my sister, Sabrina, will be on the team with me, which I am thrilled about since I love having her on the US team with me.”
After the Pan-Am Games, Sobhy will be looking ahead to the 2019-20 campaign, one where she will be aiming to move up the rankings even more…
“[My] main goals will be to keep working my way up the rankings and try to break into the top five. I think the level is so strong at the moment, but any of the top girls can win a tournament which makes the women’s tour so exciting to watch,” the American admitted.
“I’m just glad I get to be a part of this era, so I’ll be doing my best to try to win a major event next season. That and trying not to rupture my other achilles!”
Keep an eye out for the next player’s review of the 2018-19 season in the coming days, as World No.49 Ramit Tandon reviews his campaign.