USA’s Sobhy and Egypt’s El Sherbini set up CIB Black Ball Squash Open Final
USA’s World No.7 Amanda Sobhy and Egypt’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini will go head-to-head in the final of the women’s CIB Black Ball Squash Open following respective wins over Egypt’s Salma Hany and New Zealand’s Joelle King.
Sobhy and El Sherbini memorably faced each other in the quarter finals of this tournament in December last year when the American took a shock victory in a thrilling five-game battle and the two players will once again cross paths in Cairo, Egypt as they compete for the PSA Platinum title tomorrow.
For Sobhy, it will be her first PSA Platinum final since the 2016 Hong Kong Open and four years after she had surgery on a career-threatening Achilles injury after she came from a game down against Hany to win 10-12, 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 in 45 minutes.
The American showed little signs of fatigue from her thrilling 66-minute battle with France’s World No.3 Camille Serme last night as she recovered well to produce a calm and collected performance against an in-form Hany.
“She started really strong and I started a bit flat from yesterday and the high of it,” said Sobhy afterwards. “It took a while for me to get myself going, 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.
“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.”
El Sherbini, meanwhile, will feature in her third final at the event as she looks to get her hands on the CIB Black Ball Open trophy for the first time in her career following two runner-up finishes in 2019 and 2020 to Raneem El Welily and Hania El Hammamy respectively.
King had upset the form book in the last round with her victory over former champion El Hammamy. However, the 32-year-old was unable to maintain that run today as El Sherbini showed her class and was firing on all cylinders to prevail 11-5, 11-8, 11-4.
“It feels amazing,” said El Sherbini afterwards. “I’m really glad I won it in three, it was a very tough three games. Joelle played amazing yesterday, she beat Hania, one of the top players now on her form.
“I was really looking forward to this one, I’m really glad I played well and hopefully I keep going.”