Harvard junior Sabrina Sobhy defeated world junior champion Rowan Reda Araby to reach her first J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions main draw Friday evening at the Princeton Club of New York.
The Sea Cliff, New York native upset the world No. 37 from Egypt 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 in twenty-four minutes to reach her first ToC main draw in her fifth tournament appearance. The result marked her second top forty upset in New York City following her victory over France’s world No. 30 Coline Aumard Thursday night.
Sobhy will face France’s defending champion Camille Serme in the main draw Sunday, January 21, shortly before her older sister, Amanda, makes her competitive return to the PSA Tour against Rachael Grinham. Grinham topped Team USA’s Haley Mendez in a three-game qualifying final at the Harvard Club.
Elsewhere in the women’s main draw, fifteen-year-old phenom Marina Stefanoni is set to make her professional glass court debut as the wild card gainst five seed Nouran Gohar Saturaday at 7:30pm. U.S. champion Olivia Blatchford awaits qualifier Liu Tsz-Ling in the final match at Grand Central Terminal Saturday night.
In the men’s draw, three-time ToC champion Ramy Ashour made a welcome return to Vanderbilt Hall with a signature three-game victory against fellow Egyptian Mazen Hesham. The match marked Ashour’s first ToC match since 2013, and continues his eleven-match winning streak in Grand Central spanning back to losing in the 2010 final.
“It’s been a while, last time I came here was 2013 and it’s like a dream come true,” Ashour said. “The tournament is prestigious, everyone wants to win the Tournament of Champions. It’s really good to be back, a lot has happened and I wasn’t sure when I would be back here and when I would win again on court. On the last point I was just looking around and absorbing everything. I don’t even want to win it, I just want to play because I’ve won it three times before and I want to be here. I’m just grateful for everything I’ve been through and I’m glad to be back.”
Harvard’s third ToC main draw representative, Ali Farag, recorded a four-game victory against Campbell Grayson in what was his first PSA match on U.S. soil since his maiden World Series title at the 2017 U.S. Open in October.