Team USA’s Olivia Blatchford Clyne and Sabrina Sobhy are through to the last sixteen of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions following second round wins Sunday, January 12, in New York City.
Blatchford Clyne’s win came in unfortunate fashion against Wales’ world No. 9 Tesni Evans in the first match of the day on the glass court in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall. The match was off to a lively start as the American led 7-4 in the first, at which point Evans rolled her ankle and was forced to retire due to the injury.
“It’s awful, I’m very blessed that I’ve never had that happen to me,” Blatchford Clyne said. “I’m sure she’s heartbroken and I’m heartbroken for her. I’m also gutted I didn’t get to do it, but I just hope that she’s able to recover as quickly as possible. She’s a really tough, entertaining cookie and I’m sure she will be back soon.”
The world No. 17 from Wilton, Connecticut, now faces a daunting third round challenge in the form of Egypt’s reigning world champion and world No. 2 Nour El Sherbini Tuesday at 2:45pm local time.
Sabrina Sobhy, world No. 39, is currently in the best form of her first season on the PSA World Tour after graduating from Harvard in the spring. After three straight PSA titles in November and December, Sobhy has continued that momentum in New York where she has recorded two top twenty upsets in the ToC. Sobhy first took out Hong Kong’s world No. 19 Joey Chan at the Princeton Club on Friday, which she followed up with her highest-career upset to date over England’s world No. 15 Victoria Lust.
Sobhy dispatched Lust 10-12, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10 in forty-two minutes at the River Club, and advances to take on England’s eight seed Sarah-Jane Perry Tuesday at 12pm noon.
“She made it incredibly challenging for me,” Sobhy said. “I needed to focus point by point and on my game and not let the crowd or my emotions get involved. It’s big to be able to see my family and friends supporting me here and makes these matches more memorable. My goal was actually just to get past the first round so it’s going to be really cool playing on the glass.”
Sabrina’s older sister and world No. 7 Amanda Sobhy missed out on the third round after sustaining a five-game comeback loss against England’s world No. 27 Emily Whitlock Saturday.
For tickets and more tournament coverage visit tocsquash.com.