Top Four Seeds to Contest ONSO Semifinals

Marwan ElShorbagy

The top four men’s and women’s seeds will contest the 2022 Oracle Netsuite Open semifinals following two sessions of quarterfinal play at Pier 70’s Building 12 on the San Francisco bay Sunday, October 2.

While all of the top seeds advanced, some of the matches were anything but routine. The match of the day was without question the final quarterfinal played between Egypt’s three seed Marwan ElShorbagy and Colombia’s six seed Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

The Colombian trailed for the majority of the opening game but managed to string several winners together at the back end of the game to take an important 1-0 lead in the final match of the evening. Rodriguez’s acrobatics had the crowd on their feet, but the Egyptian’s tactics and shot selection kept him in front until he closed out the match in three 8-11, 11-9, 11-6 in forty-nine minutes.

“It was very tough. Miguel is a great player and has had a great start to the season, beating the World No.1 in Doha so I knew how tricky he was going to be,” ElShorbagy said. “I thought in the first game I played quite fast which didn’t work out too well for me so I tried to straighten up which worked better as I felt more in control. I felt my hitting was good but it was mostly in the mind today, I’m glad I didn’t lose my focus from the second game and just glad I could get the win.”

ElShorbagy will face Peruvian Diego Elias in the semifinals after the top seed ended the spectacular OSNO run by Egypt’s unseeded Aly Abou Eleinen in two games. The elder ElShorbagy brother, Mohamed, continues his campaign for a third title in San Francisco with a commanding 11-6, 11-6 win over Indian veteran Saurav Ghosal. ElShorbagy will face compatriot and three seed Mazen Hesham, who narrowly held off a stern challenge from Team USA’s Shahjahan Khan in three games.

Amanda Sobhy (l) against Chan Sin Yuk in front of a packed gallery.

Women’s top seed and defending champion Amanda Sobhy fought off multiple game balls in the second against surprise quarterfinalist and Columbia sophomore Chan Sin Yuk. The American world No. 4 wowed the crowd with a behind the back reaction shot that saved on the game balls before sealing her place in the semifinals 11-5, 14-12.

“I just tried to play my strong, basic game and I knew that she was deadly from the middle and so if I could get my length and put her under a fast pace then hopefully that would do the trick, but she hung in really well and she’s definitely one to look out for,” Sobhy said. “She kind of reminds me of myself when I was younger. I think our styles are quite similar, I was very attacking from the middle and we love to take it short and play attacking squash. She was gutsy and she really made me work for it so I respect the fact that she came out here and played fearlessly.”

Sobhy’s semi-final opponent will be Commonwealth Games silver medalist and four seed Canada’s Hollie Naughton who produced a strong 2-0 performance to overcome Egyptian Hana Ramadan.

In the bottom half of the draw, both New Zealand’s two seed Joelle King and Egypt’s three seed Farida Mohamed controlled their matches to advance in two games against Team USA’s Sabrina Sobhy and Scotland’s Lisa Aitken, respectively. King will bid for her first final appearance in San Francisco in her third ONSO semifinal, while Mohamed will aim to continue her tournament debut with a run to the final.

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