USA No.1 Amanda Sobhy kicked off her CIB Black Ball Open Squash campaign with a win as she axed Egypt’s World No.23 Zeina Mickawy in straight-games in Cairo, Egypt.
Boston-based Sobhy enjoyed a strong month in February, winning the Gaynor Cup in Cincinatti before bowing out in the quarter finals of the Windy City Open and the American further backed up those performances with a controlled display at the Black Ball Sporting Club.
Mickawy had enjoyed a comeback win against Malaysia’s Rachel Arnold in round one but was left with no reply against Sobhy as the American took control of the middle of the court and constantly picked the 21-year-old Egyptian off at crucial times to take the 11-7, 11-6, 11-2 victory in just 23 minutes.
Up next for Sobhy will be an all-American battle between either Olivia Blatchford Clyne or younger sister, Sabrina.
“I’m really happy to get off in straight-games,” said Sobhy afterwards.
“This is my third tournament in a row, so it can definitely be tough mentally to get back into that mindset. I really wanted to make sure I focused from the first point and didn’t give her an inch, because I think she thrives on the momentum and if she feels she’s in it then she can be a really dangerous player. I wanted to make sure I came out firing to be in that dialled in mindset.
“It’s a new experience to be playing Platinum events back-to-back. I think just knowing that this is the last big push, so give it your all and then after that you can finally go home.
“My sister is based at this club and my dad and her live seven minutes down the road, so it’s nice where it has a home vibe to it and I know I can go to a home, which I did to do laundry! It’s nice to have them here, so I don’t feel so alone.
“Me and my sister are sharing a room, and we could be playing each other next. I told her I would sabotage her in the room! I knew this day was coming, so I’ve been mentally preparing for it but obviously we don’t know what the result would be. All three of us will be playing each other at US Nationals in a couple of weeks, so I guess it is good for me that I can maybe get the beginning nerves out instead of playing them at Nationals first.”
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-2 (23m)