Sobhy Begins NetSuite Open Title Defense With Victory Over Moverley

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Sobhy (r) against Moverley. (image: squashpics.com)

While the men’s NetSuite Open draw was shaken up with multiple upsets, the women’s first round went entirely according to seeding including a four-game victory by defending champion Amanda Sobhy on the glass court in Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco.

The American’s first round match proved to be a difficult one against English qualifier Fiona Moverly, who took the second game off the world No. 7 in a four-game contest.

“She had a few good shots, but I’m happy I regrouped,” Sobhy said. “She was hitting winners left and right, especially on her backhand side so I just dug in and stuck to my game plan. Whoever was winning the points was the one who was standing in front. I think it was just a game of whoever could be in front of the other person, so I’m glad that I was able to do that.”

The path to the 2016 NetSuite Open title will prove more difficult for the twenty-three-year-old Harvard graduate after the doubled women’s prize money attracted the likes of world No. 2 Laura Massaro and world No. 3 Nicol David.

Both Massaro and David marked their NetSuite Open debuts with three-game victories in the first round at Bay Club San Francisco.

David (l) against Pacheco. (image: squashpics.com)
David (l) against Pacheco. (image: squashpics.com)

David, the eight-time world champion, dispatched American and Access Youth Academy product Reyna Pacheco in three games.

“It’s great to see Reyna on the Tour,” said David. “She came up from the Urban Squash Program, so it’s nice to see her in action on the Tour. It was good to play her and I think we played a really good match.”

“This is my first time playing the NetSuite Open and to actually be on the glass court is going to be very special,” David said. “I’m just going to stick to my game plan and hopefully just put it all together.”

Top-seeded Massaro meanwhile took out Sobhy’s American teammate Olivia Blatchford in three games.

“It’s quite hot on there and it’s a long time since I played a PSA match on a back court, so I was a little bit apprehensive about how that would be,” said Massaro, who will take on fellow English international Victoria Lust in the next round.

“It feels like a little bit of a different game. The rallies are longer and the court feels a little bit smaller in some ways. I’m really happy to have got off in three games, Olivia is a really dangerous player and has some really nice shots. It was just a case of making sure I limited her actions and played well.”

Women’s results:
Laura Massaro bt Olivia Blatchford 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (31m)
Nour El Tayeb bt Low Wee Wern 11-3, 9-11, 11-4, 11-1 (39m)
Victoria Lust bt Sarah Cardwell 11-8, 13-11, 13-11 (39m)
Heba El Torky bt Samantha Teran 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8 (42m)
Joelle King bt Line Hansen 13-11, 11-9, 11-8 (37m)
Amanda Sobhy bt Laura Moverley 11-5, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4 (31m)
Joey Chan bt Coline Aumard 8-11, 11-0, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9 (59m)
Nicol David bt Reyna Pacheco 11-3, 11-1, 11-3 (18m)