Amanda Sobhy has got the brains and the brawn both at the same time.
The 21-year-old American is currently pursuing her degree in social anthropology at Harvard University and she is also the top ranked American squash player at No. 15 in the world.
And Sobhy who was also the world junior champion in 2010 believes that junior squash players should not forgo their studies whilst pursuing a career in squash.
“I definitely think junior players should take the opportunity and go to university. I did that and it’s the best decision that I have ever made,” said Sobhy.
“A lot of people think that it’s not easy to balance between sports and studies but it’s not as though we graduate from our degree at the age of 30.
“It’s just four years and by the time we finish we are still young and there’s plenty of time for us to catch up.
“But yes, it is definitely tough. There is a lot of discipline needed and a lot of sacrifices that I had to make … especially socially but at the end of the day, when I graduate next May, I’ll have my degree and have no regrets.
“At times I really struggled balancing my schedule and now that I have finally adjusted … it’s already three years and I only have one year of school left!
“But I’m definitely looking forward to finishing my studies on a high and go into a squash career full-time,” added Sobhy.
The left-handed Sobhy who is competing for the first time in Malaysia, at the CIMB Malaysian Open had no problems beating Mexico’s Samantha Teran in straight sets.
Sobhy overpowered Teran 11-7, 11-1, 11-6 and will go on to meet national No. 3 Delia Arnold in the second round.
“It was actually pretty tough and the score definitely didn’t reflect the match at all,” said Sobhy.
“Samantha is a tough competitor. I played her a bit in the past and I’m happy to win especially since I’ve finally managed to come down here to Malaysia.
“Everyone tells me the Malaysian Open is a great tournament but it always clashed with school. I’m really fortunate that it’s my summer break now and I’m looking forward to the next match.”