US SQUASH

Sabrina Sobhy Reaches First National Singles Final in Five Years; Harrity and Hanson Set up S.L. Green Final

Sabrina Sobhy (l) against Reeham Sedky (image: David Keating)

2014 U.S. Women’s Champion Sabrina Sobhy avenged her PSA loss against Reeham Sedky two weeks ago to reach the 2019 U.S. Women’s Champion final, while the top two men’s seeds, Todd Harrity and Chris Hanson, will contest the S.L. Green U.S. Men’s Championship final Saturday, March 30, at Squash on Fire in Washington, DC.

Sobhy and Sedky have a long playing history against each other, harking back to their junior careers. As juniors, they each defeated one another to win a national title. The pair of college graduating seniors faced off three times this season with Penn’s Sedky winning two out of three, including the individual championship semifinals, but Harvard’s Sobhy won their final collegiate match in the women’s team championship in February.

Two weeks ago, Sedky—a two-time National Singles finalist—defeated Sobhy in their first career match up on the PSA World Tour in the final of the Queen City Open in Canada, but Friday night, it was Sobhy who came out on top in their first career match at the U.S. Women’s Championship.

Sobhy dropped the first game 11-5, but decisively came back to win the second 11-6. Sobhy then fought off multiple game balls in the third to come back and earn a 2-1 advantage. Sobhy then pulled off an impressive comeback in the fourth game, surmounting a 6-0 lead and clinch the match 5-11, 11-6, 13-11, 12-10 after fifty-two minutes.

“Reeham and I have played against each other many times since we’ve been around thirteen years old, and it’s always been such a battle between us,” Sobhy said. “It’s good to have competition every time, but the difference today is that I had my family here and a lot of friends. That makes it a whole lot different in terms of motivation for me. And all the training that I’ve done. It’s been a huge factor that’s kept me pushing.”

Sobhy will face the 2017 champion and top seed Olivia Blatchford Clyne after the world No. 19 held off a three-game challenge from sixteen-year-old Marina Stefanoni.

“It’s always been a dream to be back in the final after five years,” Sobhy said. “It will be good to play against Olivia again. We haven’t played against each other in a while. She’s always been a great competitor and is doing fabulous on the pro circuit. It will be fun to play against such a highly-ranked player.”

Chris Hanson (r) celebrates match point (image: David Keating)

The men’s semifinals saw the top two seeds and champions over the past four years, Todd Harrity and Chris Hanson, both prevail. Harrity, world No. 44 and the 2015 and 2016 champion, overcame veteran and 2013 champion Chris Gordon in a close three-game encounter, 12-10, 11-6, 11-5, after forty-three minutes.

In a rematch of the past two S.L. Green finals, Hanson came out on top in four games over Penn’s Andrew Douglas for a third consecutive year, 3-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9, in sixty-one minutes.

“Andrew is usually the giant killer and he usually does it in the semis,” Hanson said. “He brought everything tonight. He really shocked me in the first game. Everyone was wondering if I had fallen asleep, but he played outrageously well and I knew I’d have to stick to it and do what I do best, which is to grind it out.”

Saturday’s final will be Hanson and Harrity’s first S.L. Green match up since Harrity won their 2014 quarterfinal.

“It would mean everything to my career to win this title—especially against Todd,” Hanson said. “We’ve been going at it since we’ve been around six years old. Tomorrow is a classic example of two great friends battling it out and leaving everything out there.”

View select tournament photography here.

Saturday’s finals begin at 5:45pm local time. Watch the finals live stream with commentary from Chanel Erasmus and Richard Millman on ussquash.com/live.

Age division play continues throughout the day from 8am onward. Watch live streaming from all Squash on Fire courts and live scores for all matches on ussquash.com/live.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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