12:40 am
26 May 2024

Top Seeds Egypt & USA Set Up Historic Women's World Final

16 Dec 2022

USA will take on top seeds and defending champions Egypt for the WSF Women's World Team Championship title after making history by beating former champions England to reach their first ever final.

The second seeds, who had never before beaten England at the event, went in as favourites to reach the final in Cairo and impressed 24 hours earlier when whey ended a run of three consecutive fifth-place finishes by beating Canada in the quarter-finals.

The confidence in the USA team only grew when it was announced that England No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry was carrying a knock and would be unable to compete.

In the opening match, quick-footed world No.15 Sabrina Sobhy soon gave her team the advantage when she safely navigated past world No.49 Julianne Courtice 11-5, 11-5, 11-3 in 25 minutes.

In an entertaining second match, USA's world No.5 Amanda Sobhy - the older sister of Sabrina - took on world No.22 Jasmine Hutton.

In the quarter-final, Hutton was praised for putting in what England Coach David Campion called a "career-best performance" as she came in for the third match to rescue England against France by downing former world No.2 Camille Serme.

Hutton again looked threatening today and deservedly took the first game 12-10 after accurate play at the front of the court.

Sobhy responded well in the second game and opened up a 10-7 lead but was reeled in by Hutton, who pulled the scores back to 10-10.

The Englishwoman, however, was unable keep up the momentum and Sobhy eventually drew level with a 13-11 win.

From here, the American pushed on as her attacking instincts came to the fore. Buoyed by the morale-boosting game two win, Sobhy took the third game 11-7 and then coasted home with an 11-2 win in the fourth to send USA into the final for the first time.

Asked what the main emotions she was feeling afterwards, team No.1 Sobhy said: "Relief and excitement! We're proud of what we did, proud for our country, for the team and for each other."

US coach Ong Beng Hee added: "We felt the pressure. With Amanda having a hard match yesterday, we were not sure about her condition, but today, she showed up."

While USA will back themselves in tomorrow's final, they will no doubt have taken note of the continued devastating form of hosts Egypt, who blew past Malaysia to reach their third consecutive final.

The top seeds have assembled one of the all-time great teams for this year's championship, with Nouran Gohar, Nour El Sherbini, Hania El Hammamy and Nour El Tayeb - ranked 1,2,3 and 6 in the world - all established giants of the game.

Up first tonight for the reigning champions was El Hammamy, who wasted no time in getting stuck into Malaysia's world No.75 Chan Yiwen.

While Chan battled hard, she could do little to prevent the 22-year-old from giving the top seeds a one match lead after a defeat in straight games.

World No.31 Aifa Azman was able to offer more resistance - though the 20-year-old took a game from Gohar, the first Egypt had dropped all week, before eventually falling to the world No.1's relentless power and pace as 'the Terminator' ended the tie with a 3/1 victory.

Afterwards, Egypt coach Engy Kheirallah said: "Aifa's game is a bit unorthodox and difficult to read, so you need to be on your toes and alert. And sometimes you wake up and it's not your day.

"But at the end of the day, that's what makes [Gohar] world No.1. Even when she is not at her best and not 100 percent, she still delivers. And that's what makes top players special."