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Look at that smile! Amanda Sobhy celebrates after beating World No.1 Nour El Sherbini

CIB Black Ball Open QFs: Sobhy Takes Out The World No.1

World No.7 Amanda Sobhy is through to the semi-finals of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open after defeating World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in a five-game battle in Cairo.

The pair had met on the PSA World Tour nine times in the past, with El Sherbini holding the 6-3 advantage. It was the ‘Warrior Princess’ who came flying out of the traps, winning the first six points of the contest.

Although the American was able to save three game balls, the World No.1 took the opening game. However, the momentum went to the left-handed Sobhy, and she took the second game as she managed to find her range.

Once again, though, El Sherbini was able to bring her class to the fore in the third game, winning eight of the first nine points, and although the American tried to mount a comeback, it was the World No.1 who moved into a 2-1 lead.

Sobhy would not give up, though, as she was able to gain a lead in the middle part of the fourth game, and it was one she fought hard to keep hold of. The Egyptian was able to save one game ball, but the World No.7. kept her cool to win it 11-9, forcing a decider.

The fifth game was tight, but despite both shots hitting winner after winner, neither could manufacture a lead. It eventually got to 9-9, before Sobhy took the last couple of points to take a massive win, with the World No.1 out of the tournament.

The American advances to the semi-finals of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open, where she will face another Egyptian in World No.5, and defending champion, Hania El Hammamy.

“I am in shock a little bit and I don’t think it has sunk in. It is all a blur but I think the fact.. I still can’t believe I just beat the World No.1,” Sobhy said.

“I know the tournament isn’t over yet, it’s not even close to being over but I haven’t had a good win in so long, so this just feels really nice!

“First game, she outplayed me completely. I love pace and she took that away from me and I got lulled into a sleep. She played so well so I had to tell myself ‘if you want to actually compete, this is your last tournament of 2020, you’re going to give everything you can and hit the ball to the back of the court please’.

“If you give her anything in the middle, she is going to slot it away. I had to tell myself to step up, be aggressive and get the ball to the back corners. I got the second, the third was like a sleepy bye for me, but it wasn’t the way I wanted to go out. Nobody beats two Sobhy’s in a row! That was in my mind to not let her beat my sister and me, back-to-back, so I am glad I got one for the family!

“I’m so pleased with that. I think I kind of blacked out the last few points but I am just so glad that I crossed that line. To beat Nour El Sherbini, who has been the in-form player, is huge. But, I have tomorrow to think about. I will enjoy this for the next hour or so, and then it’s time to prepare for tomorrow!”

[6] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-2: 7-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9 (54m)

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