Category Archives: Featured

Sobhy Claims Inaugural NetSuite Women’s Open Title

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American number one Amanda Sobhy delighted a capacity crowd in San Francisco earlier today when she defeated England’s Sarah-Jane Perry to claim the 2015 NetSuite Open, PSA W25 title.

Although the evening air was chilly as the championship match got underway, the open-air NetSuite Challenge Court in Justin Herman Plaza on the Embarcadero  quickly heated up as two top seeds battled to see who would secure the inaugural NetSuite Women’s trophy.

Sobhy stormed her way through the draw, dropping just one game en route to the final, as did her opponent world no. 15 Sarah-Jane Perry. The 25-year-old Englishwoman had a slight edge coming into the championship match, having triumphed in their only previous meeting on the PSA World Tour. In a compelling title-decider, it was the World No.19 who took the spoils to rapturous applause.

Sobhy started strongly, attacking the ball quickly and hitting with punishing pace, to take the opening game.  Perry responded in the second by moving her opponent deeper in the court and then hitting her trademark trickle boast to tie the match. The 22-year-old left-hander reasserted her status as one of the sport’s most promising talents when she resumed control in the third game, again dictating a quicker and stronger pace to win with relative ease.  Despite watching two match balls go to waste in the fourth, Sobhy regrouped to win the championship on the third attempt, prevailing 11-5, 4-11, 11-5, 12-10.

“I’m feeling great right now and I’m just really happy to get the win here tonight,” said Sobhy, who has embarked on a full-time career as touring professional after graduating from Harvard University this past May. “It was a big goal of mine to come here and perform well, especially leading up to the US Open in a couple of weeks. I’m playing SJ again there in the first round and I know she’ll come back stronger.”

Joining Tournament Director John Nimick and NetSuite founder Evan Goldberg for the trophy prsentation was 10-year-old Mika Barden, who had taken it upon herself to raise an additional $15,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to increase the women’s purse to $25,000. Barden’s organization, GirlShape, will continue to raise money to advance gender parity. Champion Sobhy endorsed that goal. “Thanks to all the organisers for putting on a really great women’s event here in San Francisco. It’s been fantastic to play here and hopefully we can keep growing this event in the future and have equal prize money for the women and men.”

Result – 2015 NetSuite Open W25

[1] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [2] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 4-11, 11-5, 12-10 (37m)

Corporate Challenge Raises $30,000 for SquashDrive

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Six companies, six avid squash players and a round robin competition on the NetSuite Challenge Court combined to raise $30,000 in support of SquashDrive, the Oakland-based urban squash program promoting academic, athletic, and personal growth.

Founded by executive director Lauren Patrizio in 2010, SquashDrive programming is based on the National Urban Squash Education Association model of enrolling students from an underserved partner school and providing them, throughout their middle and high school years, with a program of squash instruction, individual academic support/tutoring, health and fitness instruction and community service. The program is designed to equip participants with the life skills for success, including their preparation for post-secondary education.

SquashDrive students have been involved in the NetSuite Open all week, serving as ball kids and court helpers at every match and participating in a clinic with pro players Ali Farag, Mezan Hesham and Samantha Teran.  “We learn a lot when we come here,” said 14-year-old Jacob, one of the SquashDrive participants. He was referring to the shots that the students see the pro players hitting and then try to imitate on the UC- Berkeley and University Club courts where the SquashDrive students practice. But the students are learning so much more.  “Of course, seeing the best players in the world is great,” said Patrizio. “Equally wonderful are all the interactions our students have here with so many varied members of the squash community, who all come together here at the NetSuite Open.”

The Corporate Challenge was created to utilize the enthusiasm and facilities of the NetSuite Open to help raise money in support of SquashDrive’s life-transforming programming.  The six companies who stepped up to the challenge by contributing $5,000 each, and the players who represented them, were:

Dan Judd, East Bay College Fund
Mike Sheppard, GrowthPoint
Jeff Mayorga, NetSuite
Sam Clayman, KKR
Stuart Knight, Vista Equity Partners
Robert Morrison, Authentic Wine Collections 

 

Dan Judd and Sam Clayman won their respective pools in round robin play to make it to the finals on Tuesday evening, playing just before the Men’s Championship Final.  Judd was the winner of the glass court bragging rights as he defeated Clayman 3-1 and SquashDrive was the winner as they continue to garner support for the important work they are doing to create life success opportunities for their students.