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Squash - 13. January 2020.

Whitlock Shocks US No.1 Sobhy to Reach Third Round of J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions

World No.27 Emily Whitlock claimed one of the biggest wins of her career to date as she completed a stunning comeback from two games down at New York’s Grand Central Terminal to beat US No.1 Amanda Sobhy on day three of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.


2016 Tournament of Champions finalist Sobhy was dominant in the opening two games to storm into a commanding lead inside 20 minutes. However, it took just as long for Whitlock to get back on level terms as the 25-year-old varied the pace and hit the American with a number of lobs.
A shellshocked Sobhy, the World No.7, wasn’t able to read Whitlock’s game in the fifth either as the Colwyn-bay resident completed a 5-11, 1-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 triumph to reach the third round of this tournament for the first time.
“The last three games were a symbol of how I’ve been playing towards the end of last year,” said Whitlock, a former World No.12.
“I’ve really been working on everything, no injuries and being mentally and physically strong. I was so lost out there and seeing it a bit late in those first two games and she was just so dominant. I think I maybe saw the ball a bit quicker, hit the ball a bit cleaner on the racket and it just seemed to go my way.
“My coach said to me when I won yesterday: ‘You’re playing Saturday night, prime time, under the chandeliers in Grand Central Terminal in front of one of the best crowd on the tour’. Even if I’m the away player, I could hear people shouting my name, it just couldn’t have been a better time to win."
Whitlock will look to replicate her performance against Sobhy when she takes on World No.13 Alison Waters, with 2015 runner-up Waters beating Egypt’s Nadine Shahin 3-0. Waters has won six of seven matches against Whitlock, but the latter did claim a memorable victory at the 2017 British Open to reach her first major quarter-final.
Meanwhile, 2017 winner Camille Serme had to dig into her mental reserves as she came through an entertaining five-game battle with two-time World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby, winning 11-8, 3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 in 59 minutes.
19-year-old Elaraby combined talent with spirit as she twice came back from a game down to level, with Serme needing to fight hard to finally get the win over the line in the deciding game. The World No.5 will go up against another Egyptian, Yathreb Adel, in the last 16.
“It was tough, and I knew I had everything to lose and she had nothing to lose,” said Serme afterwards.
“We prepared this match very well with all of my staff, I think today it was about being more precise than her and not giving her any angles, because every time she had an angle – she’s Egyptian so she hits very good shots."
2015 winner Raneem El Welily got her title challenge under way with a comfortable 3-0 win over Serme’s compatriot Coline Aumard, while World No.3 Nouran Gohar dispatched South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller in straight games.
Hania El Hammamy and Annie Au were the other women's victors on day three.


Results - Women’s Second Round (Top Half): 2020 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-1, 11-2 (22m)
[11] Annie Au (HKG) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (28m)
[16] Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (27m)
[5] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-2: 11-8, 3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (59m)
Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt [7] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-2: 5-11, 1-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (47m)
[13] Alison Waters (ENG) bt Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (31m)
[10] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 (36m)
[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 (19m)
Draw - Women’s Second Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played January 12th
[4] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Donna Lobban (AUS)
Nadine Shahin (EGY) v [14] Salma Hany (EGY)
[12] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Tinne Gilis (BEL)
Julianne Courtice (ENG) v [6] Joelle King (NZL)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Nele Gilis (BEL)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) v [15] Victoria Lust (ENG)
[9] Tesni Evans (WAL) v Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA)
Milou van der Heijden (NED) v [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Draw - Women’s Third Round (Top Half): To Be Played January 13th
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v [11] Annie Au (HKG)
[16] Yathreb Adel (EGY) v [5] Camille Serme (FRA)
Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [13] Alison Waters (ENG)
[10] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v [3] Nouran Gohar (EGY)

 

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