Qualifying finals: Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Laura Pomportes (FRA) 11-6,
11-8, 11-8 Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt Nouran El Torky (EGY) 11-8,
11-8, 11-4 Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 9-11, 11-5,
16-14, 11-3 Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 7-11,
11-9, 11-4, 11-8
US Star Sobhy Celebrates Texas Triumph
New York-born Amanda Sobhy claimed the biggest WSA World
Tour title of her career - and became the first home winner of
the Women's Texas Open for seven years - when she upset
top-seeded Egyptian Nour El Tayeb in the final of the WSA
International 35 squash event at Life Time Fitness in
The final was the pair's latest clash in a career rivalry which
began as 14-year-olds contesting the British Junior U15 Open
quarter-finals in 2008. The Egyptian reigned supreme in four
successive British Junior Open clashes - but Sobhy proved invincible
in the 2010 World Junior Championship final in Germany where
she beat El Tayeb in four games to become the USA's first ever world
But in only their second meeting on the WSA Tour, second seed Sobhy
was looking for revenge after losing to the 22-year-old from Cairo -
who now boasts a career-high world No.5 ranking - in last year's
Malaysian Open semi-finals.
Spurred on by home crowd support, Sobhy survived a second game
comeback by El Tayeb to beat the higher-ranked Egyptian 11-7, 8-11,
am ecstatic right now - this is my biggest tournament tour title to
date and I'm so happy to have won it here in Texas,"
said the 21-year-old world No.10 who graduates from Harvard
University next month.
"The crowd has been amazing all week and Sanjeeb and his team put on
a spectacular event and took care of all the players so well. I
fully enjoyed my time here and really looking forward to coming back
"Nour is such a talented player and a fighter and I knew I had to be
mentally and physically strong in order to beat her today. I want to
thank my coaches Thierry Lincou and Shahid Zaman for
working with me to get ready for this tournament.
also need to thank my family for their continuous support because
without them I would be nowhere. I'm bringing this trophy back to
Harvard with me where I will finish up my last month of school
before I graduate on May 28th! Hopefully this is just the start of
good things to come for my pro career!"
Tayeb added: "First of all it has been a
great week. Everyone has been super nice and very welcoming - from
the people to the organising committee. It's one of the best
organised tournaments I have been to for sure.
"Today Amanda was the better player. She played the right game.
Unfortunately, I couldn't push through today and she just played
better than I did, so all credit to her."
Sobhy's Texas triumph is the latest milestone in the career of the
reigning US national champion - who now boasts a remarkable record
of 13 title wins from 14 WSA World Tour final appearances!
Top Seeds El Tayeb & Sobhy Set Up
The top two seeds Nour El Tayeb
and Amanda Sobhy set up a mouth-watering final of the 2015
Women's Texas Open after prevailing in the semi-finals of the
WSA International 35 squash event at Life Time Fitness in
Egyptian favourite El Tayeb, making
her debut in the 14th edition of this popular event on the WSA
World Tour and looking to keep the title in Egyptian hands,
recorded her first straight games win in the event by despatching
twice former champion Rachael Grinham, the No.4 seed from
Australia, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 in just 24 minutes.
"I'm a little
disappointed, not with the result but that I was a bit off today and
win or lose I just prefer to come off the court knowing I've played
explained former world number one Grinham afterwards.
"I would have liked to have given her a better run
for her money but I was too loose and you can't afford not to be at
your best against someone like Nour."
El Tayeb, now in
the eighth WSA Tour final of her career and looking for her first
title since 2012, was delighted with the outcome:
"Of course. I'm very happy to be in the final. I know
I keep saying it but playing against Rachael is never easy for me -
it's hard mentally and physically.
"So I'm very happy
to get through to the finals,"
added the 22-year-old world No.5 from Cairo.
"I'm enjoying it here so hopefully I can keep going.
"Tomorrow, I'm playing my good friend
and junior rival Amanda. I'm sure we're going to enjoy it as we
always to. And hopefully we put on a good match that people will
Second seed Sobhy scored her first
Tour win over fellow left-hander Annie Au, beating the No.3
seed from Hong Kong 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7 in 40 minutes.
"I'm very happy to
be in the finals of the Texas Open,"
said the New York-born 21-year-old who next month graduates from
Harvard University. "This is my first final
of a 35k and also my first win over Annie. She is such a talented
player and I knew I had to get the ball to the back or else she
would put it away.
"Tomorrow I am
playing Nour who I have played numerous times in juniors,"
added the world No.10, now in the 14th Tour final of her career and
her 10th on home soil. "We always have a
good match, so hopefully tomorrow will be another good match between
"Sanjeeb and his team are doing an
amazing job with this tournament and I am just happy that I am able
to come back to Dallas and play in this tournament!"
The final will mark the pair's ninth
meeting since first contesting the British Junior U15 Open
quarter-finals in 2008. The Egyptian reigned supreme in four
successive British Junior Open clashes until 2011 - but Sobhy proved
invincible in the 2010 World Junior Championship final in
Germany where she beat El Tayeb in four games to become the USA's
first ever world squash champion.
Top Seeds Through In Texas
The top four seeds secured places in the semi-finals of the
Women's Texas Open - but achieved their quarter-final successes
in the WSA International 35 squash event in contrasting
styles at Life Time Fitness in Plano, USA.
hope Amanda Sobhy wasted little time ensuring her anticipated
semi slot - ending Australian qualifier Donna Urquhart's
brave run in just 20 minutes.
The 21-year-old second seed from New York, just a month away from
graduating from Harvard University, despatched fellow left-hander
Urquhart 11-9, 11-4, 11-2 and will now face third seed Annie Au,
also a 'leftie', for a place in the event's final for the first
Au, the 26-year-old No.3 seed from Hong Kong, survived a tough test
against Egyptian teenager Nouran Gohar. The 17-year-old from
Cairo made an impressive comeback to force a decider after losing
the first two games.
But Au dug deep to fend off the youthful attack, closing out the
match 11-8, 11-4, 5-11, 3-11, 11-7 after 56 minutes to reach the
semis for the first time since 2012.
England's Emma Beddoes was forced to play twice in the day
after sustaining a 'blood injury' the previous evening midway
through her first round match with Heba El Torky. After
beating the Egyptian in four games on resumption, the No.5 seed
faced top seed Nour El Tayeb in the quarter-finals.
Beddoes took the opener after a tie-break, but was unable to contain
the world No.5 from Egypt as El Tayeb battled on to claim a 10-12,
11-7, 11-6, 12-10 triumph after 57 minutes.
"There are some matches you love playing even when you lose,"
Beddoes told her Twitter followers later.
"Tonight was 1, went down 3-1 but great match with world #5 @NourElTayeb
Tayeb now takes on Texas Open veteran Rachael Grinham. The
fourth seed from Australia, four times a finalist and twice the
champion, survived a close battle with career-long Tour rival
Jenny Duncalf, beating England's former world number two 11-9,
Survives Chinappa Test In Texas
Australian qualifier Donna Urquhart
provided the sole upset in the first round of the Women's Texas Open
when she defeated eighth seed Joshana Chinappa to claim a place in
the quarter-finals of the WSA International 35 squash event at Life
Time Fitness in Plano, USA.
The Brisbane-based left-hander, fighting to back to top form after
foot surgery last year, battled for 43 minutes to quash Chinappa,
the world No.21 from India, 11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8.
Former world No.13 Urquhart, currently ranked 35 in the world, will
now face home hope Amanda Sobhy, the second seed.
The New York-born 21-year-old, who graduates from Harvard University
in May, recovered from a game down to see off Egyptian qualifier
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy 5-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-8 in 42 minutes.
There was Egyptian success in the top half of the draw when top seed
Nour El Tayeb quelled a spirited performance by English qualifier
Victoria Lust. Underdog Lust, ranked 26 in the world, took the
opening game - but Cairo-based El Tayeb, the world No.5 making her
Texas Open debut, regained the upper hand before closing out the
match 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4.
El Tayeb's quarter-final opponent will be the winner of the clash
between Emma Beddoes, the fifth seed from England, and Egyptian Heba
El Torky - a match which will be completed today after being
suspended at one-game-all.
Youth prevailed over experience in a first round battle which
thoroughly entertained the Plano crowd. Dutch star Natalie Grinham,
the 37-year-old former world No.2, took the opening game against
seventh seed Nouran Gohar, the 17-year-old world No.16 from Egypt.
But the Cairo teenager soon found the edge over Grinham - playing in
only her second WSA Tour event since the birth of her second child -
and romped to a 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 victory in 30 minutes.
Pro Sobhy Seeks Home Success At Texas Open
Competing for the first time as a full-time squash professional
after concluding her studies at Harvard University, Amanda Sobhy
is bidding for success at this week's Women's Texas Open in
the USA where she is hoping to become the event's first home winner
for seven years.
The Boston-based 21-year-old is the second seed in the 14th edition
of the WSA International 35 event which gets underway at
Life Time Fitness in Plano, Texas, today following
completion of the qualifying tournament.
Sobhy, ranked 10 in the world and three times a first round loser in
this established WSA event, will begin her 2015 campaign against
Egyptian qualifier Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy, the world No.39
from Cairo who upset higher-ranked Welsh number one Tesni Evans
to earn her maiden appearance in the event's main draw.
champion Sobhy will be aiming to become the event's first US
champion since former world number one Natalie Grainger in
Egypt's Nour El Tayeb is the event's top seed, who will be
making her Texas Open debut in Plano. The 22-year-old from Cairo,
now boasting a career-high world No.5 ranking, also faces a
qualifier in the opening round. England's Victoria Lust beat
French opponent Laura Pomportes 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 in the
qualifying finals to claim her first appearance in the main draw
The draw also features distinguished Australian Rachael Grinham,
the former world number one who won the title in 2004 and 2011 and
is marking her 10th appearance in the championship since 2002. The
38-year-old Queenslander is the No.4 seed and takes on Japanese
qualifier Misaki Kobayashi in the first round.