America’s No. 1 player and the No. 6 ranked player in the world Amanda Sobhy swings back into action at the Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company starting on Thursday (February 23).
The $300,000 World Series event [across the Men’s and Women’s events] at the Cathedral Hall at the University Club of Chicago is the first tournament for Sobhy since she made an early second round exit at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York last month.
“It is imperative that I get the momentum going in Chicago because it will set the tone for the next few tournaments that I play after that,” said Sobhy, 23, of Sea Cliff, N.Y.
“I am very eager to get back on the court and compete.”
The sixth-seeded Sobhy is scheduled to open play on Friday night against a qualifier.
“Nowadays there are no easy rounds,” said Sobhy, who in her only previous Windy City Open appearance last year lost in the quarter-finals to Camille Serme of France in five games.
“The level in the women’s game has improved tremendously so you have to be ready from the first round,” said Sobhy.
“Anybody can beat anyone on any given day so I have to make sure I am ready to go from the start. I am taking it day by day, and trying not to look too far ahead into who I might play in the later stages of the tournament.”
Sobhy is the highest ranked American born squash player ever and the hard-hitting southpaw had a banner 2016 season with runner-up showings at the Tournament of Champions and Hong Kong Open and semifinals at the US Open.
However, Sobhy’s hopes to get this year off to a strong start last month before the hometown fans in New York at the Tournament of Champions was slowed with a partially torn fascia on the bottom of her right foot and a five-game loss to Sarah-Jane Perry of England in the second round.
Sobhy has put that setback behind her and the four-time intercollegiate singles champion at Harvard feels ready to go after receiving treatment at the Hospital for Special Surgery combined with cross training and physical therapy the last few weeks.
“Despite not getting the results I wanted last month, I think having this time off was good for me because it allowed me to hit the refresh button and go into these next tournaments relatively fresh mentally and physically,” said Sobhy.
photos Janos Schmidt