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16 Jul 2024

Home Hero Amanda Makes World Quarters

18 Jul 2021

US No.1 Amanda Sobhy advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by The Walter Family on home soil after overcoming Canada's Hollie Naughton at the University Club of Chicago.

The world No.7 from Boston will line up in the last eight of squash's premier event for the second time since the 2015 edition following an 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 victory over her close friend who is ranked 19 in the world.

"Hollie has been getting some good results, and I don't think we have played on the PSA Tour, so I knew that this would be a battle," Sobhy said.

"Mentally, I wanted to stay dialled in, she fought well in the third. Overall, I'm happy to have a test in the round of 16 and looking forward to the quarters.

"I have family here watching and after this season, when you get that added energy from the crowd... I want to do it for myself, but I also want to do it for you guys [the fans]."

Sobhy's compatriot - world No.20 Olivia Fiechter - was also in action in Chicago, making her first appearance in the event's third round following her previous round win over Belgian Tinne Gilis.

The 25-year-old posed some problems for the reigning champion, who is also ranked one in the world, but the Egyptian found the winners when she needed them to close out an 11-4, 14-12, 11-7 victory.

"She was very tough, it's the first time playing each other despite being the same age, we never had the chance to play each other," said El Sherbini.

"She pushed me very hard until the last point. Actually, I think I needed a tough match like this to get myself ready and wake up my body a little bit. I lost a little concentration in the second game, but I am really glad I won in three in the end and that is the most important thing for me."

El Sherbini will take on Sarah-Jane Perry in the last eight after the sixth seed from England came from behind to beat India's Joshna Chinappa. Meanwhile fellow Egyptian Hania El Hammamy, the world No.5, will play Sobhy after she defeated world No.14 Nele Gilis in a highly-entertaining three-game contest.

In the men's tournament, world No.1 Ali Farag continued his title challenge with a 3/0 win over Colombia's Miguel Rodriguez to set up a last eight meeting with Diego Elias after the Peruvian beat George Parker of England.

The spectators inside the University Club of Chicago's Cathedral Hall were treated to some typically explosive rallies from Rodriguez, who wowed the crowd with a full-length dive in the first game, but the world No.11 couldn't match Farag's accuracy.

"I wasn't expecting the match to go that way," said Farag, who won the 2018-19 PSA World Championships in Chicago.

"He's had an amazing career already - world No.4 and the British Open champion - and I knew it was going to be tough today. I had a gameplan in mind, which I put together with [coach] Mike Way, and I always say I feel most comfortable when Mike is around. We spoke about little things I needed to do to start the match well, and I never lost momentum."

Reigning World Champion Tarek Momen also took a step closer to the final courtesy of an 11-2, 11-9, 11-8 win against fellow Egyptian Youssef Ibrahim. World No.5 Marwan Elshorbagy stands between Momen and a place in the semi-finals after he defeated Frenchman Gregoire Marche.

"I came into this tournament and I have my eyes set on that trophy again," said Momen.

"I want to win it just as bad as I did the first time. I am not thinking about being defending champion, it is something I have, it will always be mine, forever, so I just need to have more good memories and win more titles. For me, it is a new tournament and I am just trying to win it."