15 April 2023
US No.1 Amanda Sobhy is into the semi-finals in Birmingham after knocking out the defending British Open champion, Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy, with a clinical straight games victory at The Rep Theatre on Friday evening.
The World No.3 had defeated the American last month at the Black Ball Squash Open, in a match that went to five, and she won this event last year, in what was the first of four Platinum crowns for her in 2022. In this context, though, it was a completely different story, as Sobhy won in straight games in less than 40 minutes.
El Hammamy started the stronger of the two, going 8-4 up in the opening game, but a run of seven straight points saw the World No.5 come from behind to take the first. She came through to win it 11-8 and carried that momentum into the second.
Sobhy then had three game balls in the second game to double her lead. She led 10-9, 11-10, and 12-11, with ‘the Leopard’ saving the first two. The Americans eventually got the job done to win the game 13-11, and then flew out of the blocks in the third. She was in control throughout it, and went on to secure the victory, booking her place in the last four of the British Open.
“It sounds like I’ve won the tournament, and I shouldn’t think that way because this is just the quarter-finals. But it was such a tough match and mentally I think I got my tactics spot on today. She’s the defending champion and I kind of didn’t have anything to lose.
“This incredible venue screams performance and if anyone knows me I’m a performer, regardless of whether it’s squash, music, or theatre so this is like home! I feel like I’m at home here and I can play my best squash and I guessed it showed tonight with my squash.
“At first she came out all guns blazing and it took a little bit to sink in. The matches before me went on a little bit longer so there was a delay and you’re welcome Paul [Coll] and Marwan [ElShorbagy] for trying to catch you guys up! It took some time to get into it and I found my groove.
“The fact that I’m really enjoying myself out there and when I do when I’m happy and my body’s healthy, I’m playing my best squash and I’m so grateful to have my team and my coach and physio. It’s nice to have the support in addition to this phenomenal crowd.”
Sobhy will now play three-time British Open Nour El Sherbini in the semi-finals of this year’s event. The ‘Warrior Princess’ came through a tricky battle in the opening match of the night, coming from behind to defeat England’s Georgina Kennedy in a fifth game..