SouthWestern Houston

Women’s PSA $110 Gold, 27 Sep – 01 Oct, Houston, USA


[1] Nour El Tayeb  3-1 [2] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (42m)

PSA reports

Top seed and World No.8 Nour El Tayeb claimed the 14th title of her career in Houston today as she defeated USA No.1 Amanda Sobhy in four games.

El Tayeb was a beaten finalist in the 2022 event, losing out to World No.2 Nouran Gohar. She looked as determined as ever to go one step further this year as she looked to make a move back towards the world’s top five.

Sobhy has enjoyed a strong start to the season with two semi-final appearances in Platinum events so far. She started the final in a similar fashion as she moved forward on the ’T’ and narrowed the angles that El Tayeb was craving. After several long and entertaining rallies, Sobhy earned the first game ball at 10-9 and took it at the first time of asking to lead 1-0.

The talented Egyptian started to find her length in the second game and moved back in front of the American and was therefore able to display her attacking qualities to heap the pressure onto Sobhy.

After equalising at 1-1, El Tayeb looked to find another gear to go into and really started to dictate play around the middle of the court. The World No.8 looked to have so much time on the ball in all areas and pushed and pulled Sobhy into all four corners of the court at pace. The Egyptian never looked back after establishing a lead in game three and closed out both the final games 11-5 to claim her 14th title of her career and first title of the new season.

Nour had this to say after her win:

“It was a big match for both me and Amanda today. I was excited and looking forward to the match because I knew it would be enjoyable and fair. I’m so happy to have won my biggest title in a few years it means so much to win this; thank you so much for everyone to making me feel so welcome.

“Thanks to Engy Kheirallah, my coach. I’ve been working with her for a few months and it’s made such a difference. I don’t think I would have won this title without her or even still be playing.

“My goal is to just always play better. I know it sounds cliché but I really think that if I play well and keep getting better, I can achieve becoming World No.1 but for now I want to enjoy this and again, just a big thank you to everyone.”


[2] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-2 Nada Abbas    11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-3 (58m)
[1] Nour El Tayeb 3-0 [4] Salma Hany  11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3 (47m)

PSA reports

In the all-Egyptian clash between Nour El Tayeb and Salma Hany, attacking squash and sharp, fast rallies were the name of the game for the No.1 and 4 seeds. The top seed sauntered round the court in the opening game and chopped the ball into the front two corners with ease, winning 11-5.

Hany responded well in the following game and closed the court down, managing to impose her own style on the match and ask questions of El Tayeb’s concentration. She levelled the match at 1-1 after an 11-7 win in game two.

El Tayeb gave herself a stern talking to in-between games two and three and returned to court in fine form. Reverting back to the ‘chop and change’ tactics that had served her so well in the opening game. The World No.8 motored through the next two games to win 11-5, 11-3 and close the match out in 47 minutes to reach the final at the South western Open for the second successive time.

After the match, El Tayeb said: “I’m very happy with how I played. Salma has been improving so much over the last few months, so for me to win, I’m very happy with that and to keep my focus and confidence.

“She kept fighting every point, so she never let me get any points easily, but thankfully I was able to focus and play well. She is playing very well now, so winning in four gives me a lot of confidence.”

On the prospect of tomorrow’s final against Amanda Sobhy, she added: “Me and Amanda have been playing a lot since juniors, but I always remember when we were young, playing her was an easier game for me, but look at us playing in a final now, and it is not easy at all.”

No.2 seed and sole home hope Amanda Sobhy was first to secure her place in the final after she overcame giant killer Nada Abbas in a five-game thriller on the Houston Squash Club show court. Sobhy controlled the majority of the opening game and despite a spirited comeback from Abbas, took the lead, winning 11-9.

Abbas levelled the score by winning game two 11-6, stepping up the court and displaying the aggressive squash that she had done for the previous three rounds. Sobhy responded strongly to take the third game 11-5 and place one foot in the final but was again pegged back by Abbas who forced a fifth and final game after closing out the fourth game 11-9.

Sobhy seemed to save her best squash for the final game as the pace of her hitting went up a notch, forcing Abbas into the back corners constantly, with her only option to lift out. The No.2 seed pounced on the loose balls to run away with the game and secure a place in her first final of the season.

After the match, Sobhy said: ” It feels good. Nada just took out two of my teammates in the last two days, so on behalf of Team USA, I had to get the win.

“In all credit to her, it’s great to see her back. She’s clearly playing way above her ranking level, and I know she is going to climb up in the rankings, so I’m sure we will play again soon.


Nada Abbas 3-0 [3] Olivia Fiechter (USA)  11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (42m)
[4] Salma Hany 3-1 [6] Farida Mohamed 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 (61m)
[1] Nour El Tayeb 3-0 [7] Melissa Alves (FRA)  11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (25m)

Unseeded World No.22 Nada Abbas continued to impress on quarter finals day as she overcame World No.9 and No.3 seed Olivia Fiechter in straight games to deny an all-USA top-half semi-final at Houston Squash Club.

Fiechter got the better of Abbas last month in the second round of the Paris Squash event, but the Egyptian was on form in Houston as she turned the tables to seal an 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 win.

Abbas had already beaten Fiechter’s compatriot Olivia Clyne in the previous round and picked up where she left off against the No.5 seed, showcasing her solid length hitting and producing some accurate winners at the front of the court to take the opening game.

After a scrappy second game was won by Abbas, five of the first six points went Abbas’s way in the third as she kept up the pressure on her opponent. Fiechter was able to reel her back in as chinks began to appear in the armour of the Egyptian. But she kept her composure at the back end of the third to seal the victory.

“I’m really happy to be through,” said Abbas afterwards. “I played Olivia [Fiechter] four times last season and we just played in Paris and she won in five tough games so I was really fired up and I’m just so happy to be through.

“I think I was more steady today and took is step by step. I tried to focus on the small patches in the match and win those instead of thinking too far ahead.

“There’s no pressure on me tomorrow. I am an unseeded player so all the pressure is on Amanda. I’ll just try and play my game to the best of my ability and see what I can do.”

The bottom half semi-final will be an all-Egyptian affair between No.1 seed Nour El Tayeb and No.4 seed Salma Hany. El Tayeb found top form in her clash with France’s Melissa Alves, restricting the No.7 seed to just three points in the opening game before showcasing more of her attacking abilities to win 11-5, 11-8 and close the match out in under half an hour.

Her semi-final opponent Hany was involved in a scrappy battle with compatriot Farida Mohamed with a place in the final four on the line. The pair were determined to dominate the middle of the court and impose their attacking games, which often made for traffic issues around the middle of the court. Hany kept her composure well in the big moments and secured a 3-1 victory in 61 minutes.

Round Two

Nada Abbas 3-0 [5] Olivia Clyne (USA)  11-4, 11-4, 12-10 (33m)
[3] Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-0 Sana Ibrahim 12-10, 11-7, 11-1 (38m)
[4] Salma Hany 3-0 Zeina Mickawy    11-3, 12-10, 11-6 (34m)
[6] Farida Mohamed 3-2 Lucy Beecroft (ENG)  6-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (51m)
[7] Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-1 Hana Ramadan  11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7 (49m)
[1] Nour El Tayeb 3-0 Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (18m)

Nada Abbas produced the only upset on day two, defeating No.5 seed Olivia Clyne to secure a place in the last eight of the first Gold event of the 2023/24 PSA World Tour season.

Abbas started the brighter of the two players, hitting a heavy and accurate length, which Clyne struggled to cope with. Abbas continually found plenty of joy deep in the backhand side of the court, moving into a 6-3 lead and later a score of 10-3, before closing the game out 11-4.

Nada, the World No.22, continued to work her opponent around the court for the remainder of the match and, after doubling her lead, found herself trailing 9-6 to Clyne in the third game. The Egyptian showed some gritty resolve to pull back into the game, playing a pair of backhand drops to bring the score back to 9-8 before forcing a tiebreak.

A well-disguised backhand boast gave the Egyptian her first game ball, and she didn’t need asking twice, progressing into the quarter-finals in 33 minutes.

Abbas said: “I’m really, really happy to be through. Olivia is very skilful but also very quick, so I just needed to be very accurate with my shots and clever with my shot selection, so I’m glad I am through.”

Abbas’ compatriot and No.6 seed Farida Mohamed was close to suffering an early exit as she trailed 2-0 to England’s Lucy Beecroft. Mohamed managed to find her way back into the match however and recovered strongly to win in five games.

Round One

Georgia Adderley (SCO) 3-1 [9/16] Jana Shiha  8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 (44m)
[WC] Riya Navani (USA) 3-2 Nour Aboulmakarim  11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7 (51m)
[9/16] Nada Abbas 3-0 Ineta Mackevica (LAT)  11-5, 11-0, 11-5 (20m)
[9/16] Sana Ibrahim 3-0 Emilia Soini (FIN)  11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (24m)
[9/16] Zeina Mickawy 3-1 Grace Gear (ENG)  11-9, 6-11, 14-12, 11-9 (47m)
[9/16] Hana Ramadan 3-0 Nicole Bunyan (CAN)  11-9, 11-2, 11-3 (26m)

SouthWestern Houston