Sobhy Pulls off Five-Game Comeback Against El Tayeb to Reach El Gouna Semis

Amanda Sobhy (r) against Nour El Tayeb

Team USA’s Amanda Sobhy is through to her first PSA World Tour Platinum semifinals in three years following a dramatic five-game comeback victory over world No. 3 Nour El Tayeb in the El Gouna International Open quarterfinals Tuesday, April 23, at the Abu Tig Marina in Egypt.

The first two games saw El Tayeb breeze past an uncharacteristic performance from Sobhy, 11-3, 11-7 in under fifteen minutes. The American world No. 12 began to turn things around in the third, finding her marks offensively to win 11-7. Sobhy carried her momentum into the fourth, which she took 11-6 to set up a decisive fifth game. Sobhy earned an early lead in the fifth, which was aided by a conduct stroke against El Tayeb, who momentarily lost her composure. Up 5-1 after the decision, Sobhy pulled away to win the match 11-6 after forty-one minutes.

“I wasn’t thinking I had a chance to win, I was thinking about not getting slaughtered and trying not to embarrassing myself,” Sobhy said. “It is a quarterfinal, and Tayeb was playing well, but I told myself to give it everything I had.”

Sobhy and El Tayeb had played twice this season leading into Tuesday’s match, both of which extended to five games with Sobhy prevailing at the U.S. Open and El Tayeb at the Tournament of Champions.

“There was some rage, some anger fuelling me, and I just tried to power through,” Sobhy said. “Fortunately I got a good lead in both the third and fourth and in the fifth, I wasn’t event thinking about how I had come back, I kept thinking I needed to keep my head down and to keep going. I think I was not prepared for the glass court, and I had over 48 hours of rest. I didn’t do much yesterday apart from a 30 minute hit, so I think it was just that shock to the system of the pace. I had to get the lungs working again, I couldn’t find my lengths and she was all over me. I don’t really know how, but I just told myself to stop being a baby and to push through.”

Sobhy now moves on to the semifinals where she will face Egypt’s world No. 1 and the tournament’s top seed, Raneem El Welily. Sobhy and El Welily recently clashed in the quarterfinals of the DPD Open earlier this month in Holland, where El Welily narrowly prevailed 11-8 in the fifth. Sobhy has only defeated El Welily once on the PSA World Tour at the 2016 Tournament of Champions, while El Welily has triumphed in all four ensuing match ups.

Live stream the match on SquashTV Thursday, April 25, at 8pm local time, 2pm EDT.

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