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Rowan Elaraby celebrates at the 2019 U.S. Open

2019/20 ROUNDUP: BREAKTHROUGH STARS - PART TWO

Along with the stars at the top of the World Rankings, and those that have been winning the major titles, there have been some breakout stars over the course of the 2019/20 season, and we have picked out eight of the best.

In this second part, we take a look at another two men and two women who have ascended the rankings, and have started to challenge the top players on the biggest of stages.

You can read part one here.

Victor Crouin

Victor Crouin pictured in action against Joel Makin at the Egyptian Open

The first of two Frenchmen to be featured on the second part of our list is Victor Crouin, who is plying his trade on the PSA World Tour whilst still studying at Harvard University, where he was unanimously selected as the Ivy League Player of the Year.

Alongside his college accolades, the Frenchman moved up 29 places in the World Rankings, and now sits at World No.44. He made the breakthrough into the top 50 in the world in December 2019.

His season started in late June, and he won the first three events he played on the Challenger Tour, securing titles at the Mulgrave Country Club Victorian Open, Australian Open and Tasmanian Open, in a sublime spell of squash on Aussie soil. He then won again at the CenterState Bank Marietta Open in Georgia just a couple of months later.

Crouin’s great form continued onto the PSA World Tour, as he reached the last 16 of the CIB Egyptian Squash Open, a PSA Platinum event. He beat Cesar Salazar and Zahed Salem en route to the third round, where he played in front of the Pyramids of Giza. Three weeks later, he won his fifth title of the season, downing Mario Yanez in the final of the Dominicana Squash Open.

Sabrina Sobhy

Sabrina Sobhy in action at the Black Ball Squash Open

What a season it has been for Sabrina Sobhy! The younger sister of World No.7 Amanda, she had risen a whopping 40 places to currently sit at World No.29, in her first full season as a professional on the PSA World Tour.

After reaching the last 32 at the U.S. Open, Sobhy went on a run of winning three consecutive tournaments on the Challenger Tour. She won the London Open, Monte Carlo Classic and Serena Huawei Pakistan International Squash Tournament, which saw her climb up the World Rankings.

The American then produced some of her best squash on the biggest of stages, reaching the last 16 on home soil at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York, just a couple of hours from where she grew up.

Sobhy got the better of Joey Chan and Victoria Lust en route to the third round of the PSA Platinum event, the first time she has ever reached that stage of a major tournament. She also won the first game of her last 16 clash with England’s Sarah-Jane Perry, but the now-World No.5 came back to take the victory. There could well be two Sobhy’s in the top ten in the near future!

Baptiste Masotti

Baptiste Masotti in action at the Egyptian Open against Eain Yow Ng

The final male member of our list is another Frenchman, one who featured for his country at the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championships in Washington, D.C., making his debut for at the tournament.

Baptiste Masotti started the season just inside the top 60 in the World Rankings, but over the last year has risen more than 20 places, and he currently stand at his highest ever ranking of World No.37.

That was mainly down to his run at the CIB Egyptian Squash Open, where he went one better than Crouin, reaching the quarter-finals. Masotti got the better of Borja Golan, Miguel Rodriguez and Eain Yow Ng to reach the last eight, where, like his compatriot, he lost out to Joel Makin.

The 25-year-old then made his first appearance at the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championships, and was a part of the French team that finished the tournament in 3rd place, the sixth time they have reached the top three at the event.

Rowan Elaraby

Rowan Elaraby at the 2020 Windy City Open

The last name on our list of breakthrough stars from the 2019/20 season is a young Egyptian who reached the quarter-finals of not one, but two Platinum events, having never made it that far into a major tournament before.

Rowan Elaraby is now inside the top 16 in the World Rankings following her performances over the course of the campaign, having started the season outside the top 25.

She made the last eight of four events, with two of those coming in major tournaments. The first was at the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championship where she defeated Tze Lok Ho, Victoria Lust and New Zealand No.1 Joelle King to reach that stage.

She then made the same mark at the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family, with her run to the quarter-finals including a victory over then-World No.5 Nour El Tayeb, after coming from a game down.

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