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Sobhy Scores Second Stunning Upset To Make ToC Semis

Amanda Sobhy en route to a quarterfinal victory over siixth seed Alison Waters

Amanda Sobhy en route to a quarterfinal victory over siixth seed Alison Waters

New York, NY – January 12, 2016. In front of a packed and partisan New York crowd, American Amanda Sobhy scored another stunning upset at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in Grand Central Terminal as she defeated 6th seed Alison Waters of England, 12-10, 11-3, 11-9 in quarterfinal play this afternoon. The 22-year-old Harvard graduate had earlier eliminated the defending champion and no. 2 seed Raneem El Welily of Egypt on Sunday.

Waters, a Toc finalist last year, had three game balls in the first game when she took a 10-7 lead. Undaunted, Sobhy reeled off the next five points to snatch the game and take the upper hand in the match. “I just told myself that I had to keep fighting on every point. I knew that if I won the first game, it would change the momentum in a big way,” Sobhy said, and she indeed dominated the second game, winning it 11-3.

The English veteran regrouped in the third, but the American left- hander brushed back the challenge by winning the game 11-9 to earn a trip to the semifinals on Wednesday. Commenting both on her victory and the incredible roar that emanates in the lofty Vanderbilt Hall confines from the vocal and supportive crowd, Sobhy said, “This is incredible. The crowd was amazing – their support gives me that second and third extra push. This is best place in the world to play.”

The highest ranking American ever on the PSA World Tour, the Sea Cliff, LI native reached her highest world ranking of no. 8 as of January 1. With this victory, Sobhy also is assured of the best American finish ever in a PSA World Series event. ”This may be the single greatest day in American squash history,” said tournament promoter John Nimick, himself a former high-ranking professional player.

In Wednesday’s semifinal, Sobhy will face the tournament’s eighth seed, Nouran Gohar. The 18-year-old Egyptian registered her own upset in the afternoon’s first match when she defeated the current world no. 1 Laura Massaro by two points in the fifth game.

Massaro, who had secured the top ranking spot at year-end by claiming two titles and a runner up finish in the last three PSA World Series events of 2015, took the early lead with a 12-10 first game win. The reigning World Junior Champion responded by pounding the ball to the back of the court to win the second game 11-9 and even the match. The fearless teenager continued to go toe-to-toe with her 32-year-old opponent to claim a ToC semifinal berth by winning the last two games -11-8,11-9.

“I am so, so, so happy,” said a wide-smiling Gohar after the match. “To beat the World no. 1 is just incredible.” As with her semifinal opponent, Gohar was buoyed by the crowd. “This is my first time playing here in Grand Central, and it is now my favorite. The crowd just gives me so much energy” She also received a confidence boost from being coached during the match by former world no 1 and three-time ToC champion Amr Sabana. “When I was getting tired towards the end, he just said ‘Just go and play. You do what you think you need to. You do it.” And Gohar did.

Results – J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY
January 12, 2016 – Afternoon Session
Women’s Quarterfinals
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) def. [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) 10-12,11-9,5-11,11-8,11-9 (77 mins)
Amanda Sobhy (USA) def. [6] Alison Waters (ENG) 12-10, 11-3, 11-9

Schedule – J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY
January 13, 2016
Women’s Semifinals
5:00PM [8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v. Amanda Sobhy (USA)

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