In this week’s StarGazer Interview:
Amanda Sobhy, USA
STARGAZER : How does it feel being the youngest player to claim three WISPA Tour titles?
AMANDA :At first, when going into the tournament, claiming that title wasn’t even on my mind, but now that I have accomplished it, it feels absolutely amazing. This has to be my best accomplishment in squash so far because I have just made a name for myself and no one can take that away from me. That is, unless someone beats me which I really hope doesn’t happen.
STARGAZER : What was your toughest match so far in your career?
AMANDA :My toughest match overall would be the finals of the US Junior Nationals this year that was held at Yale University in March. I was playing my rival Olivia Blatchford who was the number 1 in the US all of last the season while I was at number 2. During our match, we had our set of fan clubs and parents watching and cheering the match so there was definitely a lot of pressure mentally, making the match very nervewrecking. In the end, the match was tied at 2-2 and I was down 7-3 in the fifth, but I managed to dig deep and come back to take the trophy 11-8. It definitely felt good to end the 2010 season at the number one spot in the Girls Under-19 Division.
STARGAZER : How was training, building up to your tournaments in the first quarter of the year?
AMANDA : Up until the New Year, I was training a lot to get ready for the many tournaments I had coming up during the first quarter of the year. However, I train hard all the time but when I’m not playing tournaments, I attend North Shore High School in my hometown of Sea Cliff, New York where I am a junior.
STARGAZER : Can you give us some insights of your routine at a tournament?
AMANDA : Everyday during a tournament, I would wake up, eat breakfast, have a light hit in the morning, stretch, shower, go back to the hotel and hang out, eat, watch television, and do homework. Then I would go back for my match, go through my warm-up routine, play my match, stretch, shower, eat, and sleep, only to wake up the next morning and perform the same routine all over again.
STARGAZER : What’s your main goal of the year?
AMANDA : My goal for this year is to try and win the World Juniors at the end of June. Although I have many other goals such as trying to get ahead in my WISPA ranking and to always exceed my seeding during a tournament.
STARGAZER : Do you have any before-match rituals or superstition?
AMANDA : Usually when I have a tough and important match, I will wear my “winning outfit” because it has brought me some good luck and good wins. But before any match, I have a ritual warm up which consists of four main songs: Dirty Talk, Far Away, Follow Me Down, and My Life Be Like. Those are the songs that get me pumped up before each of my matches.
STARGAZER : What do you do when you are not playing squash?
AMANDA : I try to live the life of a normal teenager! Of course this means going to school, but there’s some fun in it too. I hang out with friends, go to the movies, go out to dinner, sleep. But this happens rarely considering I’m always playing squash all year round.
STARGAZER FACT FILE:
Name : Amanda Sobhy
Age : 16
Nationality : American
Home State/Town/City : New York, USA
Current World Ranking : 39 (MAY 2010)
Coach : Khaled Sobhy
Racquet : Harrow
Favorite Squash Player of All Time : Ramy Ashour
Proudest Achievement : Beating the newly crowned world junior champion during the World Team Event in 2009 in Chennai, India and making history by becoming the first player to have ever won 3 WISPA titles at the age of 16!
Favorite Tournament : Even though it’s a men’s tournament, I love watching the Tournament of Champions.
Favorite Food : Chicken Parmesan
Favorite Holiday Destination : A warm, beachy area with friends
Favorite Color : Blue