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Amanda Sobhy

Black Ball Open RD3: Sobhy Wins American Battle Against Blatchford Clyne

World No.8 Amanda Sobhy booked her place in the quarter finals of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open after defeating compatriot Olivia Blatchford Clyne in the all-American battle in Cairo, Egypt.

Blatchford Clyne, the USA No.2, was forced to come from two games down in yesterday’s match against Amanda’s younger sister, Sabrina, to book her place in the third round. However, she was unable to repeat those exploits against the other Sobhy sibling as she fell to a 3-0 defeat.

USA No.1 Sobhy, who marked the anniversary of three years since her career-threatening Achilles injury on social media today, took a tight first game with the Americans pushing each other all over the court and producing an entertaining opener at the Platinum event.

That first proved to be crucial as from then on, Sobhy was able to fully cement her dominance, taking control of the middle of the court and finding all her targets, to claim an 11-9, 11-2, 11-5 victory in 30 minutes.

Sobhy will face the winner of France’s Camille Serme v Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy in the next round.

“It’s never easy playing against Olivia,” said Sobhy afterwards.

“Being the US No.1 I have a bullseye on my back and everyone else is gunning for me. Liv has been playing so well and that’s really great to show the depth of US squash and we’re very excited for World Teams, but I feel like I have all the pressure on me. I just really wanted to come out strong and get that first game because once I did, I felt like I could play a lot more freely.

“I knew she had a battle yesterday with Sabrina, but she’s so fit, so I knew that she would get everything and I just had to make sure that I was relentless in the pace.

“If you look at all of the other sports out there, you see a lot of disparity between the men and women in prize money and so to be a part of a sport that is really pushing the equal prize money and sees the value in having the men and women seen as equal in payment is truly huge for the sport. I think nowadays being one of those leading sports that is so progressive in equality is fantastic.”

Blatchford Clyne added: “My poor results against Amanda is a mixture of me struggling to play her, I find her so hard to read, and the fact that every player has a boggey, Amanda is mine.

“Then again, it didn't help that yesterday I was battling away trying to get the job done while she had a 20 minute match. Not complaining as she was playing so well and was really sharp, but I just have no legs and three hours of sleep.”

[8] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [13] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-5 (30m)

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