R1 : Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-2  Salma Hany (EGY) 11-8, 13-11, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9 (59m)
I’m sure the Salma Hany clan didn’t panic that match although she was down 2/0. It’s not the first time that happens to her, I remember a few major come-backs these past few years….
To be clear, Sabrina was on fire. Salma lost the first game without making a single error, and came back from 5/1 down to level 7/7, only to see some crispy short shots helping the American to close the opener in 12m, 11/8.
Change of leadership in the second it seemed, with Salma dominating clearly the state of affairs, 4/1, 6/3, only to be caught out 6/6, 7/7, 8/8, 9/9. A game ball for the CIB Glamour Girl, 10/9, but it’s the American that closes it again on her second attempt, 13/11, in 13m.
Sabrina with the momentum seems to aim for a quick 3/0, up 4/1, but pride plays its part, and it’s 10 points in a row for Salma, 11/4, very little errors from either girls so far. Short game, 7m, as will be the next one, this time, Salma in complete control score-wise, 5/1, 8/2, 10/5, 11/6.
The fifth is like I said a “Game of Strokes”! Sabrina is up 5/2, Salma catches her up 5/5, and from that point on, 5 strokes in 5 points (3 Sabrina, 2 Salma) and two more at 8/9 (one Salma, 9/9, one Sabrina, 10/9, Match ball). And with a sublime drive kill that dies at the back, Sabrina gets the best win of her career…
I had a good start and then I started to fatigue. 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.