2018 Women’s Necker Pro Squash Open’s winner may be only 24 years old but she’s already gone through a lot in her squash career: winning a World Junior Championship title, breaking into the world top 10 at 21 years old, and undergoing a major injury. Read our interview with American player Amanda Sobhy, who’s making an amazing comeback after tearing her Achilles in 2017.
What did she think of the tournament, and does she believe she could have played in the men’s draw?
Amanda Sobhy: The tournament was fantastic. It was such a great setup having the glass court outside the Bagatelle Mall. It definitely has the potential to be a PSA tournament in the future and I think that the organizers have the right idea by making it an invitational first for a couple of years and improve on things before turning it into a PSA event (author’s note : since the interview, it has been announced that the Necker Pro Squash Open will become the PSA tournament in 2020). I don’t think I could’ve played in the men’s draw, which was really strong! I know that the organizers want to improve the women’s draw, so at least having one top female player is a start. A lot of the other girls were so jealous of my week there, so they already asked me to put the good word in for next year!
What is the best memory she took away from her week in Mauritius?
A.S.: Mauritius is such a beautiful island. The thing I liked the most was when we took the boat in the morning to see the wild dolphins and swim with them. I didn’t go in the water, but it was just so beautiful and peaceful to be out on the water that early in the morning, and see the scenery and all the dolphins swimming freely.
Is she happy with her game since she’s come back from injury (Achilles tear in March 2017) and what are her main goals for 2018-2019?
A.S.: There are definitely a lot of positives to take away since my comeback. Looking back at when I first came back on tour in January and the level that I am playing at now, I am very proud of what I have achieved. However, I’m excited to get a good training block in this summer and come back stronger in the fall, in order to get back in the top 10.
What are her views on the growth of squash in the USA, especially with all the foreign players opting to study in her country?
A.S.: It’s absolutely fantastic the growth of squash in the US and how a lot of players are now choosing to go to College before turning professional. It’s totally doable and you have people like myself and Ali Farag who are great examples of this, so it shows other juniors that they can do the same. You don’t have to choose one or the other nowadays.
She came to Mauritius through the recommendation of her coach Thierry Lincou. How did she start working with him?
A.S.: I started working with Thierry in my 3rd year in college. He had just moved over to Boston the previous year to work with a family. I wanted to do a bit more in training as the college team training was too easy, so my Dad approached Thierry to see if he could work with me a few mornings a week. I loved working with him and his strengths were something that I needed in my game (movement), so it worked out well. I feel very fortunate to have started working with him.
What will the US women’s team be aiming for at the upcoming World Team Championship in China in September ?
A.S.: We are definitely looking to medal this year at the World Team Championships. US Squash will be sending a strong team this fall, and no matter what our seeding is, we have the potential to beat any of the other teams (Egypt might be a little harder though haha).
Interview by Jérôme Elhaïk
Originally Published on My Squash