2021 Platinum Reports REPORTS

SF: Sobhy backs it up

SF: [6] Amanda Sobhy (Usa) 3-1 [8] Salma Hany (Egy) 10-12, 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 (45m)

Amanda Sobhy comes from a game down to beat Salma Hany and reach her third Platinum final …

Not only was Amanda able to win a long match yesterday – for her, over an hour doesn’t happen ever day she stressed in her aftermatch interview – but she beautifully backed it up today, both on a mental level, coming back from 1/0 down, and physically, imposing her sharp shots and perfect length for the rest of the match.

Salma clinched the first game, whereas she was sort of comfortably up 5/2, saw the American string 5 points, 7/5, but managed to level back at 7/7, 8/8, 9/9. A few too many lets for it to be a memorable opener, a few reviews as well, Salma being told off for asking too many lets before being awarded quite rightly a stroke. A bit messy to be honest, and on her first game ball 10/9, the Egyptian making her first error, 10/10.

A huge rally at that point, with Hany finding an exquisite backhand trickle boast that forced a COME ON out of her, and a crispy volley drop shot to make it 12/10, 13m, 7 winners each. The game looked on.

But from the second on really, the American led the proceedings. Yes, there were some lovely rallies up to 4/4, 5/5, but the court seemed very big for the BlackBall player, 9/5, 11/7 in 10m. The energy was coming from Amanda’s racquet.

It kept on coming from that side in the third, 6m game, 5/0, 8/1, 11/2.

The Egyptian crowd believed a comeback was possible in the fourth, as Salma was neck to neck with Amanda exactly like in the second, 4/4, 5/5, finding again some lovely winners. But the American was just too good from the middle and Salma was not able to put her opponent under any kind of pressure from that point on, maybe a bit short physically? Points came and went, but there was only going to be a winner, Amanda 11/7 in the 4th, 11m.
Again, like Nour before, just too good.

Amanda: “On Wednesdays we wear pink according to Mean Girls, so I had been saving this outfit for today – I’m glad that I made it through,”

“I like to feel good on court and I like to think my dress colour reflects my personality and squash style. I’m happy to win.

“She started really strong and I started a bit flat from yesterday and the high of it. It took a while for me to get myself going, I think I had a little bit too much caffeine at 5pm so I was a bit jittery but I started to feel my groove in the second. I felt like I was running a bit more and my movement was getting a bit better, I was pressing up on the T instead of being a bit passive and just told myself to stay aggressive and take it to her. If I was going to lose then I was going to go down fighting. I said to take it point by point and at some point, the old body is going to start moving and thankfully it did.

“I’m going to take it like any other match. Recover, eat a lot of carbs, sleep, recover some more. This is my first final post-injury, four years ago on this date I had my surgery on my Achilles and now to see I’m in the final of a Platinum is something special, so I’m going to give it my all.”