United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy twice came back from a game behind as she survived a stern test against Hong Kong’s Annie Au to ensure that two American players will appear in the quarter-finals of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family for the first time.
Sobhy’s compatriot Olivia Blatchford Clyne had already booked her last eight berth two hours previously with victory over Egypt’s Nadine Shahin, and Sobhy followed her lead after rising to an 7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7 victory after 51 minutes.
The World No.8 initially struggled as Au’s lob and drop game worked perfectly on a cold court, and the American couldn’t respond to Au’s accuracy as she fell 2-1 behind and was in serious danger of bowing out.
The Harvard-graduate asked for a new ball at the end of the third game though, which looked to help Sobhy as she began to put more work into the legs of Au, ultimately coming through to draw level and set up a decider.
There was little between the two in the opening stages but Sobhy was soon in the ascendancy as she pulled away to grind out a win which will see her take on either World No.2 Nouran Gohar or Belgium’s Nele Gilis in the next round.
“That was definitely tough, Annie came out firing and I think the ball in the first three games kind of suited her because it was a bit dead and she loves a good lob, drop” said Sobhy.
“I think she is possibly the best in the game at the lob, drop game, so I was getting killed a little bit. Thankfully I asked to change the ball, so that helped. Instead of trying to hit the ball hard I had to use the height a bit, so it was almost like I got sucked into playing Annie’s game.
“I just told myself to fight for every point, to hustle, hustle, hustle and fortunately I did that and came out a winner.”
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7 (51m)