Article and HKFC image courtesy of the Women’s Squash Association.
U.S. number one Amanda Sobhy and veteran Australian Rachael Grinham will contest the final of the HKFC WSA 25 in Hong Kong after surviving today’s semifinals of the WSA Silver 25 squash event at the Hong Kong Football Club in Happy Valley in straight games.
Grinham, the thirty-seven-year-old former world number one and world champion, brought to an end the giant-killing run of Salma Hany Ibrahim, the unseeded seventeen-year-old Egyptian who stunned England’s top seed Jenny Duncalf in the first round.
Third seed Grinham beat the Cairo teenager (both pictured right) 11-8, 11-4, 12-10 in thirty-one minutes to progress to her third WSA World Tour final since April — and the sixty-sixth of her career!
“It was a tough game,” said the Queenslander. “Salma has played really well this week, taking out two seeds. However, I felt I played well. I moved well and picked up shots which I knew I had to do to force the pace and keep the pressure on her.”
Ibrahim, whose five-game victory over Duncalf marked the biggest scalp of her career, said: “I have had a great week here in Hong Kong and at the HKFC, and look forward to playing here again; the tournament has been great.
“I had two really tough matches, beating Jenny and taking revenge on Donna after losing to her last week at the British. I surprised myself to be in the semis, in my first International 25.
“Rachael is very tough to play; today I felt flat after the physical and mental challenges earlier this week. She put me under very tough conditions in the match.
“I would like to thank Haisham Effat, M. Mossaid, my physical coach Hossam Shadad, and the other national coaches Omar Elborolossy and Ahmed Matgany – and also huge thanks to Anna and Ferry for their continued support, and Mazen for the support in this tournament. Also I thank my Mum: I owe her so much,” concluded the youngster.
Second seed Sobhy reached the thirteenth Tour final of her career after beating Nicolette Fernandes, the No. 4 seed from Guyana, 11-4, 12-10, 11-6 in twenty-seven minutes.
“I am happy with how I played,” said the twenty-year-old Harvard University student from New York. “Nicolette is a tough player and we have had some great battles in the past. She did really well in the British last week.
“I felt I contained her game by staying calm and sticking to my game plan, which I knew I had to do as she has so much energy and is so fit. I am looking forward to another fun match tomorrow.”
Grinham and Sobhy will be meeting for the fourth time on the WSA Tour — with the U.S. star having the edge 2-1 in their head-to-head record after winning their most recent clash, in the semi-finals of the Granite Club Open in Canada in March.
Grinham will be bidding for her thirty-fourth Tour title, while Sobhy will be aiming for her eleventh – having only once lost in a WSA Tour final!
 Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) 11-8, 11-4, 12-10 (31m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt  Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 11-4, 12-10, 11-6 (27m)