US SQUASH

Amanda Sobhy Wins Third National Title to Herald in New Era of Trophy Parity

l-r: Sunil Desai,  Amanda Sobhy,  Olivia Blatchford,  Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach Paul Assaiante.

l-r: Sunil Desai, Amanda Sobhy, Olivia Blatchford, Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach Paul Assaiante.

U.S. Women’s Championship Draw
Amanda Sobhy won her third U.S. Women’s Championship by defending her 2015 title in a final rematch against Olivia Blatchford Sunday morning at Harvard University’s Murr Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

As she did in 2015, Sobhy, world No. 7, defeated Blatchford, world No. 28, in three games, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 in twenty-five minutes.

The well-spirited final continued a rivalry that began in juniors and has spanned over a decade now. Sobhy and Blatchford recalled their first match up, which Blatchford won 9-0, 9-0, 9-1 with the only point lost through a fault serve.

Sobhy (front) against Blatchford on Harvard's glass court.

Sobhy (front) against Blatchford on Harvard’s glass court.

“Thanks to Olivia for putting on a good match today, ” Sobhy said after the final. “We’ve been playing since we were twelve. It’s been great competing with her over the years, and now we’re teammates and playing on the world tour together.”

Since the 2015 women’s championship final, Sobhy has risen from world No. 10 to a career-high No. 7, and Blatchford has risen from world No. 39 to a career-high of world No 28. The U.S. Women’s Championship, which is traditionally held alongside the S.L. Green U.S. Men’s Championship, but was rescheduled following a scheduling conflict with the Allam British Open next weekend.

“It’s been great that we’ve both been doing well and that we have two U.S. females climbing up the ranks, ” Sobhy continued. “A big thank you to US Squash for pushing this event to up to this weekend because Olivia and I are competing in the British Open next weekend. We would also like to thank US Squash for all of the help and support we receive as professionals.

“We’re trying to make it and do our best on tour, and obviously it’s a tough life in this sport as a professional athlete. So we’re thankful for all of the fantastic support US Squash provides us. They’re right behind us and right behind women’s equality on tour, parity, and supporting the movement.”

Blatchford reached her second consecutive U.S. Women's Championship final.

Blatchford reached her second consecutive U.S. Women’s Championship final.

The 2016 U.S. Women’s Championship is the last to award the Eleanora Sears Challenge Cup, which will be replaced with a new trophy with size parity with the men’s S.L. Green trophy next year thanks to benefactor Sunil Desai.

Desai attended the final to present the Sears Cup to Sobhy for the last time, in doing so heralding in another era of parity in U.S. squash. Sunil attended the 2015 Nationals in Charlottesville, and was inspired by the clear difference in size between the men’s S.L. Green trophy and women’s Sears Challenge Cup.

“Thanks to Sunil for his generous contribution, ” Sobhy concluded. “It was definitely tough last year standing next to Todd with his huge trophy, so really glad that the women will receive just as much now because they deserve as much.”

 

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