United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by The Walter Family on home soil as she overcame Canada’s Hollie Naughton as all the seeded players were victorious on the first of two days of Round Three action at the University Club of Chicago.
World No.7 Sobhy – from Boston – will line up in the quarter-finals of squash’s biggest tournament for the second time – and the first time since the 2015 edition – following an 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 victory over close friend and World No.19 Naughton.
“Hollie has been getting some good results, and I don’t think we have played on the PSA Tour, so I knew that this would be a battle,” Sobhy said.
“Mentally, I wanted to stay dialled in, she fought well in the third. Overall, I’m happy to have a test in the round of 16 and looking forward to the quarters.
“I have family here watching and after this season, when you get that added energy from the crowd… I want to do it for myself, but I also want to do it for you guys [the fans].”
Sobhy’s compatriot – World No.20 Olivia Fiechter – was also in action in Chicago today as she made her first appearance in the third round of the PSA World Championships following yesterday’s win over Belgium’s Tinne Gilis.
The 25-year-old posed some problems for World No.1 and reigning champion Nour El Sherbini, but the Egyptian found the winners when she needed them to close out an 11-4, 14-12, 11-7 victory.
“She was very tough, it’s the first time playing each other despite being the same age, we never had the chance to play each other,” said El Sherbini.
“She pushed me very hard until the last point. Actually, I think I needed a tough match like this to get myself ready and wake up my body a little bit. I lost a little concentration in the second game, but I am really glad I won in three in the end and that is the most important thing for me.”
El Sherbini’s compatriot will take on England’s Sarah-Jane Perry in the last eight after Perry came from behind to beat India’s Joshna Chinappa, while World No.5 Hania El Hammamy will play Sobhy after she defeated World No.14 Nele Gilis in a highly-entertaining three-game contest.
In the men’s tournament, World No.1 Ali Farag continued his title challenge with a 3-0 win against Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez to set up a last eight meeting with Peru’s Diego Elias, who beat George Parker of England.
The spectators inside the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall were treated to some typically explosive rallies from Rodriguez, who wowed the crowd with a full-length dive in the first game, but the World No.11 couldn’t match Farag’s accuracy.
“I wasn’t expecting the match to go that way,” said Farag, who won the 2018-19 PSA World Championships here in Chicago.
“He’s had an amazing career already, World No.4, the British Open champion, and I knew it was going to be tough today. I had a gameplan in mind, which I put together with [coach] Mike Way, and I always say I feel most comfortable when Mike is around. We spoke about little things I needed to do to start the match well, and I never lost momentum.”
Reigning World Champion Tarek Momen also took a step closer to the final courtesy of an 11-2, 11-9, 11-8 win against fellow Egyptian Youssef Ibrahim. World No.5 Marwan ElShorbagy stands between Momen and a place in the semi-finals after he defeated Frenchman Gregoire Marche.
“I came into this tournament and I have my eyes set on that trophy again,” said Momen.
“I want to win it just as bad as I did the first time. I am not thinking about being defending champion, it is something I have, it will always be mine, forever, so I just need to have more good memories and win more titles. For me, it is a new tournament and I am just trying to win it.”
Round three of the PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family continues tomorrow (July 18) and play starts at 11:30 (GMT-5). Action from the glass court inside Cathedral Hall will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe & Japan).
Results – Third Round (Top Half): Men’s 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt  Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 (28m)
 Diego Elias bt George Parke (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 13-11, 11-4 (36m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (51m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-9, 11-8 (30m)
Draw – Men’s Third Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played July 18th
 Paul Coll (NZL) v  Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) v  Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
 Joel Makin (WAL) v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
Draw – Men’s Quarter-Finals (Top Half): To Be Played July 19th
 Ali Farag (EGY) v  Diego Elias (PER)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
Results – Third Round (Top Half): Women’s 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-0: 11-4, 14-12, 11-7 (34m)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt  Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (44m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt  Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-1: 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 (36m)
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt  Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-9, 14-12, 11-9 (58m)
Draw – Women’s Third Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played July 18th
 Camille Serme (FRA) v  Olivia Clyne (USA)
 Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v  Salma Hany (EGY)
 Joelle King (NZL) v  Nadine Shahin (EGY)
 Tesni Evans (WAL) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Draw – Women’s Quarter-Finals (Top Half): To Be Played July 19th
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v  Hania El Hammamy (EGY)