Amanda Sobhy and Mohamed ElShorbagy became three-time Oracle NetSuite Open champions alongside each other as Sobhy dispatched world No. 18 Farida Mohamed and Mohamed held off his younger brother, Marwan, Tuesday, October 4, at Pier 70’s Building 12 in San Francisco.
The finals opened with the four finalists descending Pier 70’s signature red steel stairs before taking to the all glass court. Both Sobhy and ElShorbagy entered the finals as the higher seeds, but both found themselves a game down after the first.
Sobhy entered the match with a 2-0 head to head record against the twenty-year-old. But it was Mohamed, a current college squash star at Columbia who took the lead against the former college squash star from Harvard, winning the first game 11-9. Sobhy regrouped between games and commanded the next two 11-3, 11-5. Sobhy continued to press in the fourth with the backing of the home crowd and clinched the title 11-7 after forty-one minutes.
“I’m relieved, I’m happy, I’m ready to take a 12-hour sleep, but you know, I’m just over the moon to win three times,” Sobhy said. “San Fran is my lucky place, I love this tournament, I love you guysI love playing in front of a home crowd. This tournament has always been good to me, I’ve been coming here since 2015. Even though it’s a lot of traveling it’s really fun to perform in front of you guys and the atmosphere is incredible. I only get to come here to San Francisco once a year and to win a third title is amazing.”
Sobhy won the inaugural women’s draw in 2015, and successfully defended her 2021 title.
“I was a bit nervous throughout it all, I hope I didn’t show it too much,” Sobhy said. “Even though I lost the first game I played the right tactics and she just slotted some amazing shots and that’s what she’s capable of. But you know, a few amazing shots can turn into some aggressive tins so I had to brush it off and stick to my positive game plan. I thought we played a really good match today and I wish her all the best in her college squash season.”
The men’s final pitted ElShorbagy brothers against one another for the nineteenth time on the PSA tour with Mohamed holding a 14-5 lead over his younger brother, the most notable win coming in the 2017 PSA World Championships final in Manchester.
Marwan started the better of the two, catching his older brother slightly off guard, and firing off quick winners to take a commanding lead. He eventually took the opening game 11-6 and looked sharp and focused heading into game two. Mohamed then turned the match on its head edging the second game 11-9, then storming to a quick 11-2 third game win. Marwan dug into earn a 7-6 lead in the fourth game to give himself a lifeline in the match. Mohamed responded again however and took five of the next six points and close out the match 11-8 to score his third NetSuite Open title and second title of the new season.
“I think we both give something very special to the sport,” said Mohamed after his win. “It’s very unique to have two brothers playing against each other. I think everyone loves watching us battle it out on court, I’m not sure that we both love it too much but I think we made our parents proud today. We played a high-quality match. My brother didn’t play well last season and to see him playing well again this season and to see hi playing that well again means a lot to me. I’m very thankful to his team and Rodney Martin for getting him back to this and for giving him another life. It’s only the start of the season but he’s already made two finals and I’m sure we will see him in more this season.”
Mohamed adds the 2022 ONSO title to his 2019 and 2017 titles.
“I would like to thank John [Nimick] and his team, his tournaments are always special,” Mohamed said. “All the players always feel so welcome from him and his team and that’s why we always get great crowds every year, because of his efforts. I already can’t wait to be at his next event in three months’ time in New York at the Tournament of Champions. I’d like to thank my fitness coach back in Birmingham. Gregory Gaultier, he has done an incredible job with me. I’m very grateful to him for helping me win two of my first three events of the season. England Squash, I’m very grateful for their support, they believed in me when no one else did and I’m so grateful for that. I’d also like to thank Evan [Goldberg], for sponsoring the event. To have someone like you sponsoring the event means so much to the players and we’re very lucky to have you in our sport.”
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