USA 3-0 [7/8] CANADA
Amanda Sobhy 3-2 Hollie Naughton 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 10-12, 14-12 (48m)
Sabrina Sobhy 3-0 Nikki Todd 11-5, 11-6, 11-1 (20m)
Olivia Fiechter 2-0 Nicole Bunyan 11-3, 11-6 (14m)
USA made history as they overcame rivals Canada to reach the semi-finals of the WSF Women’s World Team Championship for the first time.
The No.2 seeds, who have finished fifth at the last three tournaments, had impressed in comfortable pool stage victories over wins over Australia, Germany and 7/8 seeds Scotland, but were pushed to the limit in the opening match tonight, which pitted USA’s World No.5 Amanda Sobhy against Canada’s World No.17 Hollie Naughton.
Canada No.1 Naughton came flying out of the traps as she took the game to the US No.1 Sobhy, before the American began to feel her way into the match.
With a 10-2 lead in the fifth game, Sobhy looked nailed on to give her team a one-match lead, only for Naughton to miraculously save every match ball. The Canadian had a chance to win it with a match ball of her own at 12-11, but Sobhy dug in well and eventually took the opener for USA with a 14-12 win.
Following Amanda was younger sister Sabrina, who was able to put the tie to bed without drama as she beat Nikole Todd 11-5, 11-6, 11-1 in 20 minutes, with Olivia Fiechter putting the icing on the cake with a 2-0 win in the best-of-three rubber against Nicole Bunyan.
USA coach Ong Beng Hee said afterwards: “I think we were under a bit of pressure, it was obviously a big day for us, particularly as we’d never made a semi-finals and that was at the back of our mind.
“Amanda did really well to win it in the fifth. I thought she had quite a good game, maybe didn’t play her best, but she did very well to close it out and I’m very happy with her.
“Canada will always be our big rivals, not just in World Team Championships but also in PanAm Games. They’re good friends, but at the same time very competitive. Hollie played extremely well and Nikki [Todd] had a great start against Sabrina. This rivalry will remain for a very long time!”