Charlottesville, VA (March 12) – Amanda Sobhy, with a 62-0 collegiate record playing for Harvard, entered the next stage of her squash career as a professional today with a first round match win defeating Madeleine Gill, of Darien, CT, 11-1, 11-4, 11-1 at the U.S. Squash Championships at the McArthur Squash Center in Charlottesville.
Sobhy, who is the top seed, has achieved a world No. 10 professional ranking while playing as an amateur. She is the first American born player to be ranked in the world top 10.
“US Squash is proud to host Amanda in her debut as a professional in our national championship, ” said President and CEO Kevin Klipstein. “This year’s prize money of $40, 000 in the SL Green U.S. Men’s and U.S. Women’s Championships more than doubles last year’s prize money.
“Amanda is destined for an outstanding professional career at a time when women’s squash is experiencing unparalleled growth on a worldwide stage, ” he concluded.
Just two weeks ago, Sobhy won her fourth collegiate individual title, matching the record of Princeton women’s coach Gail Ramsay. She lost only two games during four years of collegiate play.
“It’s a great feeling to have the US Nationals be the first tournament where I will be competing as an official professional athlete, ” said Sobhy. “I’ve waited four years to finally be able to call myself a professional, and it is a real treat to be able to do it on the home turf.
“US Nationals is a big tournament this year especially with the equality in prize money for the men and women and with Pan American Games coming up in July, so I am happy to be kicking off my pro career with this event, ” explained Sobhy. “The last time I won the US Nationals was when I was a freshman three years ago, so hopefully I can close my senior year on a high!”
Sobhy and her younger sister, Sabrina, have evoked comparisons to tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. Sabrina, who will enter Harvard in the fall, following in her sister’s footsteps, is the No. 3 seed in the U.S. Squash Championships, and is on the opposite side of the draw—setting up the possibility of an all-Sobhy final.
Former world No. 1 Natalie Grainger is the fourth seed in the tournament and is in Amanda’s half of the draw. Amanda defeated Grainger to win her first U.S. Squash Championship in 2012, falling to Grainger in a rematch at Chelsea Piers in Connecticut in 2013. Grainger holds six U.S. Squash championships, winning five consecutive titles from 2007-11.
Matches in the Men’s S.L. Green and Women’s Championship will be live streamed online.