United States No.2 Amanda Sobhy completed an astonishing comeback from two games down to eliminate defending FS Investments U.S. Open champion Nour El Tayeb in round three of the PSA World Tour Platinum tournament held at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.
Sobhy, a former World No.6, had spent 10 months on the sidelines due to an achilles injury before making her comeback at January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, and she showed signs that she is approaching the level she was at before that injury with a stunning display after a slow start.
World No.3 El Tayeb’s historic win alongside husband Ali Farag at last year’s U.S. Open saw them become the first married couple in sporting history to lift the same major title on the same day, and she looked full of confidence as she hit an array of winners to take a two-game lead.
However Sobhy, cheered on by the American crowd, responded brilliantly and forced El Tayeb onto the back foot as she hit perfect lines into the back corners, while she was just as clinical at the front of the court to complete a 9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6 triumph which will see her take on France’s Camille Serme for a place in the semi-finals.
“It’s a special win for me,” said New York-born Sobhy
“I was thinking about this match since the summer. I know how good she is and she won it last year, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I narrowly lost to her in five at the British [Open] and I knew that I’m right there with the top three still, but I just need to break through and I’m so pleased with how I fought back today, and having my whole support team here is huge for me and a big confidence booster.
“It’s amazing to be back here. I missed it last year, I was down here but it was a really rough time for me with my progress just being stalled and I was really hopeless at that time. Coming back here, it’s the biggest and most prestigious tournament in the US and I did my rehab in Philly, so it is a second home for me."
Serme avenged her defeat to Annie Au at the Oracle NetSuite Open two weeks ago with a 3-0 win over the World No.11 this time around, while World No.1 Nour El Sherbini continued her strong start to the tournament with a victory over World No.9 Alison Waters by the same scoreline.
“I had to work hard,” said 22-year-old El Sherbini.
“Alison has been playing really well since last season. Last time we played I beat her 3-2 and it wasn’t an easy match. I knew today was going to be tough and it wasn’t an easy 3-0."
El Sherbini will clash with compatriot Yathreb Adel in the next round after the World No.30 followed up a second round upset over World No.7 Nouran Gohar with another surprise win over World No.15 Salma Hany in five games.
Results – Women’s Third Round (Top Half): 2018 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (31m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt  Salma Hany (EGY) 3-2: 12-10, 3-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-9 (58m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (29m)
Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt  Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6 (51m)
Draw - Women’s Third Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played October 9
 Joelle King (NZL) v  Tesni Evans (WAL)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v  Nicol David (MAS)
 Olivia Blatchford (USA) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Draw - Women’s Quarter-Finals (Top Half): To Be Played October 10
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Yathreb Adel (EGY)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v Amanda Sobhy (USA)