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Sobhy Soars To Biggest WSA Title In Toronto

Granite Club Open 2014
02-07 Mar
Toronto, Canada, $25k
Round One
04 Mar 
05 Mar
06 Mar
07 Mar
[1] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
11-4, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7
Victoria Lust (Eng)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Line Hansen
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Sarah-Jane Perry
Omneya Abdel Kawy
11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (36m)
Amanda Sobhy
[5] Line Hansen (Den)
11-4, 13-11, 11-9
[Q] Deon Saffery (Wal)
[8] Sarah Kippax (Eng)
 11-4, 11-9, 11-3
[Q] Nouran Gohar (Egy)
 Sarah Kippax
6-11, 11-8, 11-3,
Sarah-Jane Perry
[3] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng)
11-6, 11-2, 11-8
Misaki Kobayashi (Jpn)
[Q] Heba El Torky (Egy)
11-3, 11-4, 11-7
[4] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
Amanda Sobhy
4-11, 11-6, 7-11,
11-3, 11-9
Samantha Cornett
Amanda Sobhy
11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5
Rachael Grinham
[7] Joey Chan (Hkg)
11-3, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4
(WC) Samantha Cornett (Can)
[Q] Tesni Evans (Wal)
 11-8, 7-11, 11-7 rtd
[6] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
Tesni Evans
11-2, 11-7, 12-10
Rachael Grinham
Aisling Blake (Irl)
11-5, 11-4, 13-11
[2] Rachael Grinham (Aus)

Sobhy Soars To Biggest WSA Title In Toronto

Just days after winning the US Colleges title, and 24 hours before beginning her US National Championship title bid, US number one Amanda Sobhy secured the 11th and biggest WSA World Tour title of her career when she upset top seed Omneya Abdel Kawy in the final of the Women's Granite Open in Toronto, Canada.

It was a sensational climax to the WSA Silver 25 squash event at Granite Club where fourth seed Sobhy - a full-time student at Harvard University - first upset second-seeded Australian Rachael Grinham in the semi-finals before inflicting an 11-5, 11-5, 11-9 defeat in 36 minutes on Abdel Kawy in her first ever meeting with the world No13 from Egypt.

It was the latest milestone in the remarkable career of the 20-year-old from New York who made headlines in 2010 when, aged just 17, she won the World Junior Championship against expectations to become the first US player to win a world singles title.

Earlier in the year, Sobhy became the first 16-year-old to win four WSA World Tour titles - and the Toronto triumph means that that left-hander has now only lost one WSA Tour final in 12 appearances!

"Super happy to win my 11th and biggest tournament title here in Toronto tonight," said the exuberant Sobhy after her Granite success. "I cannot express how delighted I am to be able to overcome everything and win this tournament.

"I just finished my college nationals on Sunday and hopped on a plane Monday to play here from Tuesday so my head was a bit fried - but one of my goals this year was to win this tournament and I am delighted to come through and achieve this goal tonight.

"Big thank you to Jess (Jessica DiMauro) and her team for putting on a spectacular event this week. It was definitely worth it to miss a week of school. Everybody has been so wonderful throughout the tournament, especially my amazing host family, the Francis, and I cannot wait to come back to the Granite Club again!

"Also a big thank you to the people I have been working with at school and to my family who always support me in everything I do. I never would have expected to be able to compete with the top level girls while attending college.

"Now a quick nap before I hop on a 6am flight to Charlottesville where I will be competing in the US nationals starting tomorrow midday so wish me luck! Looking forward to some much deserved rest time after Sunday!"

Abdel Kawy & Sobhy Going For Granite Glory

Egypt's top seed Omneya Abdel Kawy and US number one Amanda Sobhy will celebrate their maiden meeting on the WSA World Tour when they contest the final of the Women's Granite Open, the WSA Silver 25 squash event at Granite Club in Toronto, Canada.

The two former world junior champions - Kawy in 2003 and Sobhy in 2010 - reached the climax in highly contrasting styles: The 28-year-old from Cairo received a walkover after England's defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry sustained an ankle injury during her quarter-final match, whilst 20-year-old New Yorker Sobhy battled to a hard-fought four-game victory over 37-year-old Australian Rachael Grinham, the former world number one and world champion.

Incredibly, it was the second evening in a row in which Kawy progressed from the sidelines - after her quarter-final opponent Line Hansen was also forced to concede their match as a result of injury.

Kawy maintained her match fitness - and delighted the Granite crowd - by taking on club pro Samantha Cornett, the Canadian champion who had earlier reached the event's quarter-finals, in an exhibition match.

The sole semi-final marked Sobhy and Grinham's first meeting for almost two years. "Two clashing playing styles turned out to be tons of excitement for the spectators," explained tournament organiser Jessica DiMauro.

"Rachael chopped her drops in, flicked her lobs up and pushed her drives with tons of deception. Amanda volleyed everything she could, kept the pressure up and had enough patience to wait until Rachael's calculated drops just hit the top of the tin.

"Both girls (pictured above) are such unbelievable athletes. The match was clean, with only two lets called the entire time. The fans were hoping for a fifth, but Sobhy stayed strong and finished the match in four."

The Harvard student later told her Twitter followers: "Won a tough battle against Rachael Grinham in 4 tonight in the semis of the #GraniteOpen! Finals tomorrow against omneya! #letsgo #bigpush"

The 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5 victory takes world No17 Sobhy into the 12th WSA Tour final of her career, where she will be aiming for a remarkable 11th title success! By contrast, Abdel Kawy - ranked four places higher - is celebrating her 29th Tour final, and looking for her ninth title.

Champion Perry Powers Through To Granite Semis

Defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry is one match away from her second successive appearance in the final of the Women's Granite Open in Canada after overcoming English compatriot Sarah Kippax in four games in the quarter-finals of the WSA World Tour Silver 25 squash event at Granite Club in Toronto.

"Sarah (Kippax) got off to a great start, winning the first game 11-6," said tournament organiser Jessica DiMauro. "Sarah was fast and patient and really looked in control.

"In the second game, SJ rolled her ankle and took an injury time-out. After spraying freezing spray on her ankle and taping it up, Sarah-Jane went back on court and turned the match around.

"She won the next three games to take the match 3/1. These girls covered the court with ease and made some amazing shots."

The third seed's 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-7 victory - her third Tour win in a row over world No23 Kippax - takes Perry, ranked 16 in the world, through to face top seed Omneya Abdel Kawy. After narrowly surviving a first round battle in five games, the world No13 from Egypt eased into the last four after receiving a walkover from Denmark's injured fifth seed Line Hansen.

It was a close-fought match which went the full distance that eventually took No4 seed Amanda Sobhy into the semis at the expense of local star Samantha Cornett, the Canadian champion from Ottawa who twice led in the match.

"With a bit of bias, I would have to say that the second match of the night was the most exciting for the home crowd," continued DiMauro. "Sam Cornett played 'the best she has ever played' to barely lose 11-9 in the fifth to Amanda.

"Sam took the first game convincingly, but Sobhy came to life in the second to even the score at one-all. The entire match went back and forth in the same fashion but Sobhy pulled it out in the end. Such great, physical squash."

Sobhy was quick to express her delight via Twitter: "Holy moley. Won a nail biter 11-9 in da 5th against @CornettSamantha! I think we both killed ourselves the last point!"

The 4-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-3, 11-9 victory takes the 20-year-old US number one through to her third Tour meeting with Australian star Rachael Grinham, the 37-year-old former world number one and world champion.

Second seed Grinham showed that she still has what it takes when she saw off Welsh qualifier Tesni Evans 11-2, 11-7, 12-10.

"I don't think any of the Granite spectators had ever seen a player quite like Rachael," explained DiMauro. "'How does she do that?' was coming out of everyone's mouths.

"She's quick and crafty and fun to watch. Tesni is always a crowd-pleaser with her wise-cracks, smiles and of course, awesome squash. As much as Tez tried to weasel the ref, Rach was just too strong for her tonight."

Cornett Lifts Home Hopes in Toronto

Hopes of home success in the Women's Granite Open in Canada were lifted when wild card Samantha Cornett pulled off a shock five-game victory over Hong Kong's higher-ranked Joey Chan in the opening round of the WSA World Tour Silver 25 squash event at Granite Club in Toronto.

The Canadian champion was making her third successive appearance in the event and, after taking the opening game, dropped the next two as seventh seed Chan, the world No24, used her experience to advance.

But 23-year-old Cornett, from Ottawa, dug deep to regain the advantage before closing out the match 11-3, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4.

"The highlight of the night for our Granite crowd was home-club hero Sam Cornett's upset win over Joey," said tournament organiser Jessica DiMauro. "The match was a battle all the way through and we're all so lucky and happy to have witnessed this win. Joey moves so well and Sam had to be ultra-patient to find an opening. Thanks for a great match girls. We all really enjoyed it."

World No38 Cornett now takes on US star Amanda Sobhy for a place in the semi-finals. Fourth seed Sobhy, the 20-year-old world No17 from New York, defeated Egyptian qualifier Heba El Torky 11-3, 11-4, 11-7.

"Happy to win 3-0 today against @HebaElTorky," tweeted Harvard student Sobhy later. "We were rockin the different shades of pink tonight!"

England's Sarah-Jane Perry successfully began the defence of her title with a straight games win over top-ranked Japanese opponent Misaki Kobayashi.

"Misaki, as always, was moving terrifically - but SJ had her all over the court with her great holds and great space," commented DiMauro. "It's nice to see our Granite Open reigning champ playing so well."

The third seed's 11-6, 11-2, 11-8 win takes Perry through to a quarter-final clash with fellow countrywoman Sarah Kippax - the pair's first meeting since contesting the event's semi-finals last year.

No8 seed Kippax despatched 16-year-old Egyptian qualifier Nouran Ahmed Gohar 11-4, 11-9, 11-3.

"Sarah Kippax played an amazing, consistent match, dominating the young Egyptian," reported DiMauro. "Sadly, not enough people got to see that match as we had to put it on the second court to fit all the matches in tonight. But we are certainly looking forward to watching Sarah play on Wednesday."

Welsh qualifier Tesni Evans also earned a surprise quarter-final berth at the expense of injured Australian Donna Urquhart.

"Donna has been struggling with a pulled calf this week and couldn't make it through the match, retiring when down 2/1," explained Di Mauro.

The 11-8, 7-11, 11-7 (ret.) scoreline takes Evans through to meet former world number one Rachael Grinham, the No2 seed from Australia who beat Ireland's Aisling Blake 11-5, 11-4, 13-11.