Joelle King (NZL) 3-0  Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (31m)
A bit of strange match from Amanda today. She looked flat as it comes out there tonight. Not that she didn’t try, don’t read me wrong. But flat. No fire. No mental resources. A few hard matches to arrive to the quarters, but I feel the battle against BladeRUnner Sabrina could be the cause of the exhaustion. Sabrina played so well yesterday, and I don’t think anybody really realises how tough it is to find the mental energy to beat your little sister. Ask Venus WIlliams how it felt in their early years. ..
After a good start from the American in the opener, 4/1, it was all about Joelle making the rallies sharp and intense, Amanda a bit more passive than normal. 11/6, no errors from Amanda though, 10m game.
From that moment on really, there was only one winner, 3/0, 3/3, 6/6, then five points in a row for the Kiwi 11/6 in 9m and 6/1, 8/2, 11/4 in 8 minutes in the last game.
As it’s Andrea Santamaria’s birthday (again, she already had one last year at the same period), we had decided on the bus coming to the venue that if Joelle was to lose, she would be able to have a big piece of the cake, but if she won, she would only be allowed to smell a portion. Too bad, more the others, Joelle.
“Amanda and I have had so many battles over the years. She’s obviously a great player, she’s No.4 in the world for a reason. I just tried to start really well today, I knew she had some really tough battles coming through, so I felt like whoever set themselves out on a good note could get a bit of a mental edge. But she never stopped fighting, even at match ball I knew she wouldn’t stop.
“I’m trying to make the most of my time this year. Time is short, we don’t have long being professional athletes and I just want to make the most of every chance I have to be on the tour and playing these big matches.
“It’s an interesting matchup, SJ is so skilful and has great hands and a good reach. Nouran brings a physicality with her power to the game. It’s always interesting to watch those two different styles, I hope they really take it out of each other, and I’ll be waiting in my hotel room.”