10:03 am
16 Jul 2024

US Trio Make PSA World Championship History On Home Soil

17 Jul 2021

The PSA World Championships will feature three US players for the first time in history after Amanda Sobhy, Olivia Clyne and Olivia Fiechter all secured passage through to the last 16 of the PSA World Tour's premier event at the University Club of Chicago.

This is the first PSA World Tour event since March 2020 to be held in the USA and the country's No.1 player - Philadelphia-based Amanda Sobhy - earned her spot in round three courtesy of an 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 victory over Egypt's Nada Abbas inside Cathedral Hall.

"Three of us in the round of 16 is amazing - unfortunately my sister [Sabrina] had a tough loss, but it's coming soon," said world No.7 Sobhy, who will play Canada's Hollie Naughton in the next round.

"Us four girls are together, training together, we keep pushing each other and we will keep doing well. I am so happy to be playing on home soil... this is an atmosphere I love, it's USA all day baby.

"I got better with each game, which is how I wanted to progress. The first game was tight, but I want to keep finding my length and get some rallies. I settled in and with each game, I went for it more and more and got more confident in my shots, and I am pleased with how it ended."

World No.13 Olivia Clyne - who is based in New York - is also through after she defeated Malaysia's Low Wee Wern over on the 'traditional' plaster courts housed on floor 11 of the University Club of Chicago.

Clyne will compete in the last 16 for the first time and will line up against France's Camille Serme for a place in the quarter-finals.

"I was really happy to get through, Wee Wern's an incredible player and she's been at the very top of the game," said Clyne.

"I knew it was going to be hard, I was hoping it wasn't going to be that hard, but of course it was. I was just happy with the way I was able to regroup, I found myself at quite a deficit in the third, and I fought hard to get back and I was really pleased with myself that I managed to finish off the game."

Fiechter upset Belgium's Tinne Gilis to reach the last 16 for the first time and the 25-year-old will compete against world No.1 Nour El Sherbini in the next round. World No.2 Nouran Gohar and world No.4 Camille Serme are also through to the last 16.

World No.2 Mohamed Elshorbagy continued his title challenge with an impressive 3/0 victory over England's Patrick Rooney - and will now play Joel Makin in the next round after the Welshman beat 2015 World Champion Gregory Gaultier.

"I hope everyone enjoyed that, I think we both played a high quality match and it's the first time we've played against each other," said Elshorbagy, the 2017 World Champion.

"I rate him a lot, he reminds me of James [Willstrop]. I've played him so many times in my career and there is a lot of similarity. James played a fantastic game and he [Rooney] has been having some great results in the past few months and I'm really happy for him."

Elshorbagy's rival for the world No.1 spot - current incumbent Ali Farag - will go up against Miguel Rodriguez after the Colombian defeated Malaysia's Eain Yow Ng in straight games.

Farag has now gone 13 matches unbeaten in Chicago following his 2018-19 World Championship win and the 2020 Windy City Open.

"It was not as easy as 3/0 looks, for sure," Farag said,

"He doesn't give you any cheap points, you have to earn every single one. Maybe a little at the end he felt it physically but in the first two games I had to earn every single point. The main goal for today was to find my targets in the back corners as I couldn't really play a proper game in the first round as my opponent was injured. Today, I am very happy with the way I found them, and I am hoping I can take that on to the next one."

Reigning champion Tarek Momen is also through courtesy of a victory against Youssef Soliman - his 300th on the PSA World Tour - and will take on Youssef Ibrahim next. Meanwhile World Championship runner-up Paul Coll will take on India's Saurav Ghosal after dispatching France's Victor Crouin.