US No.1 Amanda Sobhy will be one of the players to watch out for during the 2019/20 season as the Boston-based 26-year-old looks to improve on her current ranking of World No.8.
It looked for all the world that Sobhy would become the first US-born woman ever to reach the top five of the PSA Women’s World Rankings when a superb period of form saw her reach a career-high ranking of No.6 in both 2016 and 2017.
But a traumatic achilles injury in Colombia in March 2017 meant Sobhy was sidelined for 10 months and she tumbled down the rankings, eventually dropping as low as World No.30.
The steely American took a while to get back to full match fitness, but she has once again established herself as one of the world’s leading players, with a title win at the Texas Open and landmark victories over higher ranked players such as Nouran Gohar and Nour El Tayeb propelling her back into the world’s top 10.
Now, after a summer which saw her win three gold medals at the Pan American Games in Lima, Sobhy has given herself the perfect platform to challenge right at the top of the game. We spoke to our panel of experts to get their thoughts on whether they thought the Harvard-graduate could finally establish herself amongst the world’s top five.
Nicol David – Former World No.1 & Eight-Time World Champion
“Definitely, top five is something she would be wanting to aim for and she will want to maintain that level to keep pushing forward.
“It would be great to see her performing in the new season to come.”
Joey Barrington – SQUASHTV Lead Commentator
“I feel that she’s been working unbelievably hard and done superbly well to get back and finish the 2018/19 season the way she did.
“For me, the physicality and the mobility is the big question at the very top end. There’s no doubt about the way she hits the ball and her tactics, but it’s about the mobility, which was the tough part of her game anyway.
“After this horrific achilles tendon injury, it’s an ongoing battle for her. I think that she could definitely move her ranking up, whether she gets into the top five at the end of the season I’m not 100 per cent sure, but she will be very, very close.
“If she stays injury-free this season, she will be a regular quarter-finalist, which will keep her in the top eight and that bracket between No.5 and No.8. I do feel that she will be in that bracket and she will consistently keep herself in the quarter-final places at a lot of the major tournaments next season.”
Sarah Fitz-Gerald – Former World No.1 and Five-Time World Champion
“She has the bonus of being a lefty, which always adds another dimension to the women’s game.
“She is strong and while injured she would have learnt a lot about herself, what she wants and where she’s heading.
“Joelle King [World No.6] recovered from an achilles injury also. If Joelle can do it, thats inspirational, and so can Amanda.”
Lee Drew – SQUASHTV Commentator and PSA Referee and Refereeing Director
“I think Sobhy will be very close to that top five by the end of the season.
“Her form keeps improving at each event and she has pushed the main contenders all the way on a number of occasions.
“I think she is showing the kind of form that will see her make it to a big final during the season.”