Top seed El Tayeb claimed the 14th title of her career in Houston as she defeated USA #1 Amanda Sobhy in four games to lift the South Western Open 2023 trophy.
El Tayeb was beaten finalist in the inaugural 2022 event, but after losing a tight opening game went on to claim the next three to lift the title.
“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 s 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 cliche but I really think that if I play well and keep getting better, I can become World #1 but for now I want to enjoy this and again, just a big thank you to everyone.”
Top seeds Tayeb and Sobhy through to final
Top seeds Nour El Tayeb and Amanda Sobhy claimed impressive wins on semi-finals day in Houston as they defeated Egyptian duo Salma Hany and Nada Abbas to move into the final of the first Gold event of the season at the South Western Open.
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.
”It feels good,” said Sobht. “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.”
“I’m very happy with how I played,” said Tayeb. “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. Salma 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 at the moment, so winning in four gives me a lot of confidence.”
Quarters : Abbas ousts Fiechter
Unseeded Egyptian Nada Abbas produced a second successive upset as she beat third seed Olivia Fiechter in straight games to deny an all-USA semi-final in Houston.
“I’m really happy to be through,” said Abbas. “I played Olivia 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.”
Abbas will face a third American in a row in the semi-finals after second seed Amanda Sobhy despatched Wales’ Emily Whitlock reach a third successive World Tour semi-final.
The other semi-final will be an all-Egyptian affair between top seed Nour El Tayeb and fourth seed Salma Hany. El Tayeb beat France’s Melissa Alves while Hany came through an all-Egyptian tusle with Farida Mohamed.
Round Two : Abbas joins seven seeds in quarters
The quarter finalists of the South Western Open 2023 have been set in Houston with Egypt’s Nada Abbas producing the only upset on day two, defeating fifth seed Olivia Clyne.
After the match, 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 now faces a second US player in third seed Olivia Fiechter. Egyptian top seed Nour El Tayeb faces France’s Melissa Alves while an all-Egyptian matchup will see Salma Hany meet Farida Mohamed, who came from two games down to beat Lucy Beecroft in five games. At the top of the draw Amanda Sobhy meets Emily Whitlock.
Round One : Wildcard Navani through to Round Two
17-year-old Wildcard Riya Navani caused the biggest upset on day one as beat Nour Aboulmakarim to move into the second round of a PSA Gold event for the first time.
Navani took a two game lead but the higher seeded Egyptian fought back and managed to force a fifth. The deciding game was closely contested throughout but it was the 17-year-old who managed to play the big points well and closed the game out 11-7 to move into the second round.
“We train so hard as juniors, and we look up these pros like idols, and honestly to be on court with one of the best in the world and even get the win is probably the best day of my life! I’m super happy to be in the next round.”
The only other seeding upset of the day came from Scotland’s Georgia Adderley, who beat Egypt’s Jana Shiha in four games to also earn a round two spot in a Gold event for the first time.
Women’s PSA $110 Gold, 27 Sep – 01 Oct, Houston, USA
The South Western Women’s Open PSA Gold event returns for a second edition in Houston.
Defending champion Nouran Gohar was originally top seed, but withdrew through injury, so last year’s runner-up Nour El Tayeb assumes the top seed spot with home favourite Amanda Sobhy at second seed.