World No.22 Sabrina Sobhy ensured she would join older sister, Amanda, in the next round of the CIB Black Ball Open with a five-game upset over World No.10 Salma Hany.
The American had never beaten a player in the top ten before today but showcased all of her talents to progress to the second round of the PSA World Tour Gold event at the expense of Hany.
Sobhy, who spent some time based over in Egypt training, played well in the opening two games, showing her brave play to expose Hany, who has struggled to perform in the past at her home club with an early exit at the Platinum version of this event in March.
What a finish from— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) December 7, 2020
salmahany4</a> <br><br>Slick stuff from the Egyptian, who is looking to get back into her first round clash against <a href="https://twitter.com/ssssobhy?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">ssssobhy #BlackBallOpen pic.twitter.com/cyvICCBmPy
There are ways to close out a game, and then there is the perfect way to close out a game, as shown by
ssssobhy</a> right here <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackBallOpen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackBallOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/cjyAHcyLWk">pic.twitter.com/cjyAHcyLWk</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) December 7, 2020
Despite a good start, Sobhy dropped off the pace completely in the third after going 4-1 up as Hany began to plot her comeback rattling off 10 points in a row to produce a quick turnaround.
Hany kept that pressure on in the fourth as she exposed Sobhy’s movement with her accurate shot selection, tidying up any loose balls that the American threw at her to get back on level terms.
It was nip and tuck all the way to the finish line with neither player giving the other an inch. However, it was Sobhy who was able to take the initiative and close out a big win and move into the second round where she will face either World No.1 Nour El Sherbini or Zeina Mickawy.
“I had a good start and then I started to fatigue,” said Sobhy.
“And when you fatigue against Salma and you give her the loose balls, she’s just unbelievable. I was up 4-1 in the third and she won 11-4 because she just had time on the ball and when you give her time, she just puts everything away. I told myself at the end of that game “this is it, we probably don’t have another tournament for a long time, so you’re giving it everything you have”. I’m pleased I snuck that out at the end, it could have gone either way.
“I think we both got a bit tired in the fifth, but I didn’t notice too much because I was just trying to focus on my own game, rather than get distracted by her.”
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt  Salma Hany (EGY) 3-2: 11-8, 13-11, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9 (59m)