Zealandís Joelle King and Egyptís Mohamed ElShorbagy are the 2018
Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open champions after they
claimed respective wins over Raneem El Welily and Ali Farag at Hong Kong
Park Sports Centre earlier today.
World No.7 King has lifted the first PSA World Tour Platinum trophy of
her career after a sublime performance from the 30-year-old saw her
defeat World No.2 and 2017 runner-up Raneem El Welily by an 11-4, 12-10,
The Kiwi dominated proceedings in the opening game and was able to see
out the second on the tie-break to put one hand on the trophy. El Welily
- who will become World No.1 on December 1 - came out firing in a
captivating third game as she looked to avoid defeat in the final of
this tournament for a fourth time.
But it was King who came out on top to capture the 12th PSA Tour title
of her career, while she becomes the first New Zealander since Carol
Owens at the Tournament of Champions in 2003 to win a Platinum
just extremely happy to win my first platinum event ever," said King,
who qualifies for the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals as a result.
"It hasnít really sunk in yet, but to be on a stage like this, with such
great fans means a lot. I just want to go on from here and keep playing
ďI just kept thinking that itís the last match of the tournament Ė just
leave it all out there. Raneem is such a tough competitor and she showed
in the third why she is No.1. She just kept coming back at me and never
let it go until the end."
menís World No.1 ElShorbagy has captured his fourth Hong Kong Open title
after dismantling World No.2 Farag 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 in a repeat of last
ElShorbagy and Farag had shared the spoils from the first two Platinum
events of the season between them, with ElShorbagy winning the Octoberís
U.S. Open and Farag triumphing at the Qatar Classic earlier this month.
But ElShorbagy was a class apart in Hong Kong as he powered to the 35th
PSA title of his career - a total sees him move up to joint eighth in
the all-time PSA title winners list, level with the legendary Nick
really pleased to be able to come here and play my best squash,Ē said
ďItís always great when it all comes together. Iím really proud of my
performance but not to take anything away from Ali, I have nothing but
respect for him. He came to the tour later than all of us and came up
the rankings very fast. Very few people can do what he did and heís
coming after me, but Iím trying to hold him a little bit.
ďWeíve played twice already this season, he beat me once and now Iíve
beaten him. Iím sure we will have many more battles and compete in more
ElShorbagy and King both take home almost $23,000 in prize money after
the Hong Kong Open this year became the final joint Platinum event to
commit to equal prize money.
The next Platinum tournament will be the CIB Black Ball Squash Open
which takes place in Cairo between December 3-9.
New Zealandís Joelle King will be the only non-Egyptian to compete in
the finals of the Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open after
she dispatched Englandís Sarah-Jane Perry to join Raneem El Welily,
Mohamed ElShorbagy and Ali Farag in the title deciders of the PSA World
Tour Platinum event.
World No.7 King will appear in the second Platinum final of her career
after she recorded an impressive 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 victory over World
No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry to follow up her win over the Englishwoman in
Aprilís Commonwealth Games singles final.
felt like I played well,Ē said 30-year-old King afterwards.
ďSJ has had an amazing week and two really tough matches. I just had to
think about making it hard for her at the start and try to not let her
ďWe have had some epic battles over the years, today it was 3-0 but it
is always mentally so tough against her. This is the closest tournament
to New Zealand, so itís like playing at home a little bit. Iíve been
coming for eight or 10 years and letís hope that I can make it a win
Egyptís Raneem El Welily awaits King in the womenís final after the came
through a challenging five-game test against 2016 champion Nouran Gohar.
El Welily, who will become World No.1 on December 1 after compatriot
Nour El Sherbiniís defeat in the quarter-finals, twice saw a one-game
lead eradicated by a tenacious Gohar.
But a composed performance from the 29-year-old saw her record an 11-7
victory in the decider to earn her place in a fourth Hong Kong Open
final and her seventh successive PSA Tour final.
happy to be becoming the World No.1 next month, but Iím still in Hong
Kong and Iím focusing on the tournament," El Welily said.
"Iíve been the World No.1 before but I didnít win as many tournaments as
others did, so my goal is to win as many tournaments as possible. Making
it to the final here is another step further and hopefully I can go one
Meanwhile, menís World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy and World No.2 Ali Farag
will meet in the title decider for a second successive year after they
achieved respective 3-0 wins over World No.4 Tarek Momen and World No.5
Momen Ė who hasnít beaten ElShorbagy since 2012 Ė started strongly to
take an early lead in the opening game to go 7-2 ahead. But the reigning
World Champion soon clicked into gear and came back to take three games
on the trot, earning a place in a fourth Hong Kong Open final.
knew I had to be sharp from the beginning, he had a great start in the
first game, but I think coming back and winning that game was crucial,"
"Iím happy to be through, itís my fourth final here and Iím hoping to go
all the way. I love coming back here, I have great memories and I hope
that I can get my name on the trophy for a fourth time."
ElShorbagy will look to preserve his unbeaten run in the final here when
he comes up against Farag after the Harvard-graduate dismantled
Germanyís Simon RŲsner by an 12-10, 11-7, 11-3 margin.
Farag and RŲsner were meeting for the third time this season - with
Farag winning their last match in the Qatar Classic final - and it was
the Egyptian who emerged victorious to earn his place in a fourth final
always a pleasure to play against Mohamed and big stages such as the
Hong Kong Open final," Farag said.
"Mohamed is a great champion, heís been the World No.1 for so long and
heís proving himself tournament after tournament. Iím just happy to be
playing another final with him and Iím looking forward to another good
The Hong Kong Open finals will take place at 16:00 (GMT+8) on Sunday
November 25 at Hong Kong Park Sports Centre. The action will be
broadcast live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World), Eurosport Player (Europe
only), DAZN (Japan only) and mainstream channels around the world such
as BT Sport, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
Egyptís Raneem El Welily has ended compatriot Nour El Sherbiniís
31-month reign at World No.1 after the latter suffered a 3-2 defeat to
Englandís Sarah-Jane Perry on a dramatic day of action in the
quarter-finals of the Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open, PSA
World Tour Platinum event.
Reigning World Champion El Welily became the first Egyptian female in
any sport to be crowned World No.1 when she brought the legendary Nicol
Davidís unprecedented nine-year run atop the rankings to a close back in
Speaking after an 11-2, 11-8, 11-6 victory over local favourite Joey
Chan, El Welily said: "In my head, I always thought it was going to be a
match between me and her [El Sherbini] that decided who would be World
No.1. I didnít actually have the scenario in my head that she could lose
early on or that I could lose early.
ďAs much as I am sad for her loss today, Sarah-Jane Perry played really
well and Iím really happy to be back at World No.1. Iím trying not to
think about that too much at the moment because Iím still in the
tournament and I still have a match tomorrow to prepare for. Maybe when
the rankings come out next month then I can celebrate."
For her part, El Sherbini battled hard to keep her grasp on the coveted
No.1 spot intact, but fell victim to an astonishing display from World
No.6 Perry, who fought through the pain barrier to claim her first ever
win against the Egyptian over a best-of-five games format.
Perry was 2-1 down when a collision with the side wall in the opening
point of the fourth game looked to have caused damage to her shoulder as
she took just two of the next eight points on offer.
However, a resilient Perry drew on her mental reserves and the
28-year-old reined the two-time World Champion back in to draw level,
before putting in an immaculate display to power to victory in the
fifth, earning a 7-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 11-5 victory to end El
Sherbiniís title defence.
ďIím absolutely thrilled,Ē Perry said.
ďNour is an amazing player, sheís the World No.1 going into the match
and sheís earned that. Iíve beaten her before but not in a best of five
and so to beat her 3-2, Iím really pleased.Ē
Perry will take on New Zealandís World No.7 Joelle King in the next
round in a repeat of their Commonwealth Games singles final match on the
Gold Coast in April, with Perry losing that match by a 3-2 margin. King
eased past World No.3 Nour El Tayeb in just 28 minutes.
2016 champion Nouran Gohar was the other winner in the womenís event
after a 3-2 victory over Camille Serme and she will play El Welily for a
place in the title decider.
A titanic battle between German World No.5 Simon RŲsner and Colombiaís
World No.7 Miguel Angel Rodriguez lit up the menís draw, with the former
claiming a 3-2 victory after 99 minutes of high-intensity action.
Both players wowed spectators at Hong Kong Park Sports Centre, with the
fifth and final game lasting 39 minutes alone. Each player held four
match balls over the course of the decider, with an error from Rodriguez
finally bringing an end to the spectacle as both players walked off
court to a standing ovation.
RŲsner, who is one win away from a third successive Platinum final,
said: "Itís an incredible feeling. It was a really good match from both
of us, especially the fifth game Ė thatís one of the best games Iíve
"Iím really pleased with my form at the moment. If someone told me four
months ago that I would be reaching three semi-finals at major
tournaments, I would have laughed at them. Itís a huge achievement for
me and whatever comes now is a bonus.Ē
World No.2 Ali Farag also moved through to the semi-finals after he came
back from a game behind to beat former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad 3-1
to ensure that he will play the German for the third time this season.
RŲsner beat Farag in Octoberís U.S. Open semi-final, but Farag avenged
that defeat in the Qatar Classic final earlier this month.
Meanwhile, defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy overcame New Zealandís
Paul Coll by a 3-1 margin and he will play World No.4 Tarek Momen for a
place in a fourth Hong Kong Open final.
ďI love it here, Iíve put my name on that trophy three times and I would
love to get my name on it again," said World No.1 ElShorbagy.
ďEvery day staying at the top of the rankings gets tougher than the day
before. In every sport, everyone studies the best and when everyone
studies you then they find weaknesses. When youíre at the top of the
game like that you have to stay one step ahead and to be able to do that
for three years is something Iím really proud of."
The Hong Kong Open semi-finals begin at 16:00 (GMT+8) on Saturday
November 24. Action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World),
Eurosport Player (Europe only) and by major broadcasters such as BT
Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
womenís champion Nour El Sherbini overcame United States No.1 Amanda
Sobhy in a tight four game victory to advance to the quarter-finals of
the Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Open, PSA World Tour Platinum
El Sherbini - who will surrender her World No.1 spot to compatriot
Raneem El Welily if the older Egyptian equals or surpasses her results
at this tournament - came out firing as she swiftly took a two-game
lead, only to see a resurgent Sobhy come back in the third game to halve
The American World No.13 continued to be the aggressor as she went two
game balls up in the fourth, but she was unable to convert as El
Sherbini came back to force a tie-break, before an error from Sobhy
handed the win to the Egyptian.
ďAmanda was top 10 and then she had her injury, but sheís back and
playing so wellÖ Iím sure she will be back there very soon," said El
ďItís a very tough draw for me to play face her in the second round Ė
itís very early Ė but I just tried to be focused from the start and had
a good plan.
"She came back very strong, in the fourth I had match ball and she had a
couple of game balls, so I had to be strong mentally to finish the
match. I think I played well and Iím excited to move to the other
El Sherbini will come up against World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry for a place
in the last four after the Englishwoman mounted a superb comeback from
two games down against in-form Welsh player Tesni Evans.
Elsewhere, El Welily booked her place in the quarter-finals courtesy of
a 3-1 triumph against Englandís Victoria Lust which saw the World No.2
come from a game behind to win to set up a fixture with home favourite
Joey Chan in the next round.
remember playing Joey here a few years ago and it was very close and a
very good match," said El Welily.
"Iím looking forward to playing her again tomorrow and she must be
playing really well this week. Itís always nice to have a crowd whether
they are with you or against you. We have played many times in Egypt
when the crowd is on our side, so itís only fair that we play in other
locations. The crowd here is really fair and they all like a good
Chanís victory over Yathreb Adel ensures that she will be the only
player from Hong Kong to move through to the quarter-finals, while World
No.3 Nour El Tayeb defeated Indiaís Joshna Chinappa.
World No.4 Camille Serme and Egyptís Nouran Gohar were the other victors
in the womenís draw. Serme ended the run of Englandís Millie Tomlinson -
who sent 10-time winner Nicol David crashing out yesterday - while Gohar
got the better of World No.11 Alison Waters.
The top eight seeds moved into the quarter-finals of the men's event as
2017 finalists Mohamed ElShorbagy and Ali Farag continued their title
charges with respective wins over Englandís Tom Richards and Peruís
Defending champion ElShorbagy swept to a 3-0 win against Richards in
31-minutes, with his electrifying pace of hitting enabling him to outgun
the Englishman by an 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 scoreline.
really happy,Ē said ElShorbagy afterwards.
ďTom has been playing really well this season and has had a lot of good
wins. He is definitely back to where he was at his best level again and
I had to be sharp from the first point. Overall, Iím really pleased with
my performance, itís such a big bonus to get into the quarters and win
the match in three."
New Zealandís Paul Coll awaits ElShorbagy in the next round after he got
the better of Englandís Declan James, while Farag will line up against
fellow Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad as he aims to extend his four-match
winning streak over the Egyptian.
very pleased,Ē said Farag afterwards.
ďHeís [Elias] full of confidence after beating the World No.1 [in Qatar]
and then Saurav yesterday. If I started a little slower then maybe he
would have grown in confidence so to get off to that good start was
World No.4 Tarek Momen will take on World No.10 Mohamed Abouelghar for a
place in the semi-finals after respective wins over Germanyís Raphael
Kandra and Malaysiaís Eain Yow Ng, while Colombiaís Miguel Angel
Rodriguez and Germanyís Simon RŲsner will contest the other menís
The action moves over to the Hong Kong Park Sports Centre for the
quarter-finals on Friday November 23 and play will start from 12:00
(GMT+8). The action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and
Eurosport Player (Europe only).
The third day of action at the Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash
Open saw two massive shocks take place at Hong Kong Squash Centre as
former World No.1s Nicol David and Laura Massaro slumped to respective
defeats against Englandís Millie Tomlinson and Egyptís Yathreb Adel in
round two of the PSA World Tour Platinum event.
David, an eight-time World Champion, won this tournament 10 times in
succession between 2006-2015 - going over 50 matches unbeaten in Hong
Kong in the process - but fell victim to an inspired performance from
World No.26 Tomlinson, who came back from an 11-0 defeat in the second
game to claim arguably the biggest win of her career.
really happy and itís probably my biggest win,Ē said 26-year-old
ďItís the first time Iíve won in the second round as well so itís a
really good feeling. I had nothing to lose, she is such a legend and is
so used to this court.
ďIt always helps being the underdog because you can just go out there
and enjoy it, there is no pressure on my shoulders."
Tomlinson will contest her round three match with Franceís Camille Serme
after the World No.4 dispatched former World No.1 Rachael Grinham 3-0 in
just 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, Adel will clash with the last remaining female Hong Kong
player in the womenís draw - World No.19 Joey Chan - after sending 2015
runner-up Massaro to a surprise defeat on the side courts.
The player from England looked off the pace as Adel played a measured
game to build up a 2-0 advantage. There was a resurgence from World No.5
Massaro in the third as the 35-year-old came back to close the gap, but
it proved to be in vain as Adel stepped up and dropped just three points
in the fourth game to seal a huge victory for the World No.24.
had to focus from the first game to the last,Ē Adel said.
ďI had to keep it tight all the time and had to go for my shots when I
had the opportunity.
Iím very glad to be through and hopefully it can be another day, another
match and I can take it forward."
World Champion Raneem El Welily got her tournament under way with a win
against World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby and she will take on
Englandís Victoria Lust in the next round after she defeated Canadaís
Hollie Naughton by a 3-1 margin.
World No.8 Nouran Gohar and World No.11 Alison Waters will also go
head-to-head for a place in the quarter-finals after they overcame
Englandís Emily Whitlock and Canadaís Danielle Letourneau, respectively.
Spectators will also have a local player to cheer on in the menís draw
as World No.25 Tsz Fung Yip claimed victory over Englandís George Parker
in five games to book his place in the third round of this tournament
for the first time.
The two players met earlier this season at the U.S. Open, where Parker
prevailed by a 3-2 scoreline. However, buoyed by his home crowd, the win
went the way of Fung Yip this time around and he will come up against
former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad in the next round.
always a nice feeling to play in front of your home crowd," said Fung
"They are very supportive and that gave me an extra boost. I hope to
play to my capabilities and perform the way I have practiced [in the
The menís Hong Kong No.1 Max Lee came within a whisker of joining his
compatriots in round three but fell in five games to World No.7 Miguel
Angel Rodriguez after a gripping 79-minute battle.
The pair contested a high-octane match which saw both players entertain
the crowd with some incredible feats of athleticism and a number of
superb winners. But some gruelling rallies eventually took their toll on
Lee as he began to suffer from cramp and he was unable to hold onto an
8-5 lead in the decider as Rodriguez came back to win.
so happy to go on court and see the crowd today,Ē said Rodriguez.
ďThat definitely signals the improvement of squash here in Hong Kong. A
couple of years ago, squash was a small sport here but thanks to the
likes of Max, Yip and Leo [Au] it has grown a lot and I was delighted to
play in a full court today. I knew it was going to be tough because he
is the local hero and I had experience with Yip a few years ago when I
lost 3-2, so I knew it was a tough place to play the Hong Kong guys."
Elsewhere, 2017 finalist Ali Farag kicked off his title challenge with a
3-0 win over Gregoire Marche to set up a mouthwatering third round clash
with World No.12 Diego Elias, who was in red-hot form as he axed Indiaís
Saurav Ghosal in straight games.
Germanyís Simon RŲsner and Switzerlandís Nicolas Mueller were the other
victors in the menís event and the pair - who are close friends off the
court - will do battle for a place in the last eight.
The third round of the Hong Kong Open will take place on Thursday
November 22 and play will begin at 12:00 (GMT+8). Matches from the
centre court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and
Eurosport Player (Europe only).
Defending champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini got their
Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open campaigns under way today
with respective wins over Australiaís Ryan Cuskelly and Belgiumís Nele
Gilis at Hong Kong Squash Centre.
who beat World No.2 Ali Farag in last yearís final, earned his place in
the second round of the PSA World Tour Platinum event courtesy of a
comfortable 3-0 win over World No.13 Ryan Cuskelly.
Cuskelly claimed a shock victory the last time these two met at
Januaryís J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions but ElShorbagy gained his
revenge today, with a composed performance seeing him take an 11-3,
11-6, 11-5 victory.
"Ryan is a great player, he beat me the last time we played at ToC and
fully deserved to beat me, so it was good to get a win because itís
never easy to play him," Alexandria-born ElShorbagy said afterwards.
ďThis court has a fast front wall and you have to be careful with your
tactics because if you get it wrong then itís tough to get back into the
match again. Every time I was ahead and every time he came back at me, I
tried to think and stay calm and Iím really happy to be in the next
"Iím going to try and get my fourth title here, itís not going to be
The 27-year-old will play Englandís Tom Richards for a place in the last
eight after Richards beat Indiaís Ramit Tandon, and the winner of that
match will play either World No.8 Paul Coll or World No.16 Declan James.
Coll downed local favourite Leo Au by a 3-1 margin to book a place in
round three, while James toppled in-form Welshman Joel Makin in a
gruelling 85-minute, five-game battle.
really happy,Ē said New Zealandís Coll.
ďI felt like my performance was a bit up and down and against a home
player like that, he is always going to be up for it. Itís a tough one
and I really had to dig deep to find some answers to his attacking at
World No.4 Tarek Momen also booked his place in the last 16 after
beating Australiaís Cameron Pilley and he will contest a third round
fixture against Germanyís Raphael Kandra next. Egyptís Mohamed
Abouelghar and Malaysiaís Eain Yow Ng will also meet in round three
after respective wins over Nafiizwan Adnan and Joshua Masters.
In the womenís event, El Sherbini kicked off her title defence with a
commanding display against World No.31 Nele Gilis, winning in straight
games to ensure that she will hold onto her World No.1 spot for at least
The 23-year-oldís 31-month reign atop the World Rankings will come to an
end if she fails to match World No.2 Raneem El Welilyís results at this
tournament, but she insists she only has her eyes set on retaining her
title for the time being.
been World No.1 for a long time and this was going to come sooner or
later," El Sherbini said.
"Itís always challenging and I havenít been on the edge a lot, but Iím
just going to play and be positive and try to win the title. The first
match is always important, winning 3-0 has given me a push to be ready
for the next round and we will see how I go."
A mouthwatering encounter with 2016 runner-up Amanda Sobhy awaits the
Egyptian in the next round after the United States No.1 got the better
of Hong Kong No.1 Annie Au in four games.
Sobhy, the World No.13 from Boston, contested a highly entertaining
battle with her fellow left-hander and took the first game, before Au Ė
cheered on by the partisan crowd Ė threw everything at her opponent in
the second to draw level. However, Sobhy kept up her attacking brand of
squash and prevailed in games three and four to book her place in the
happy, I love Hong Kong,Ē Sobhy said afterwards.
ďI have fond memories here. I got to the final here a few years ago so
it was disappointing to miss it last year, but I was looking forward to
it this year. I have a tough draw, but everyone is tough and the level
is really deep at the moment."
World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry and World No.9 Tesni Evans will contest an
all-British third round encounter after they overcame Zeina Mickawy and
Julianna Courtice, respectively. Perry and Evans met at last monthís
U.S. Open, where Evans ended a six-match losing streak against Perry to
become the first Welsh player ever to reach the semi-finals of that
World No.3 Nour El Tayeb is also through after beating Englandís Fiona
Moverley, and she will play Indiaís Joshna Chinappa for a place in the
quarter-finals. Meanwhile, World No.7 Joelle King defeat Mayar Hany by a
3-1 scoreline and will go up against World No.20 Hania El Hammamy after
she axed US No.2 Olivia Blatchford Clyne.
The second round continues tomorrow (November 21) as 2017 runner-ups
Farag and El Welily begin their tournaments. Play begins at 12:00
(GMT+8) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport
Player (Europe only).
A trio of local players claimed victories on the opening day of the
Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open as Leo Au, Tsz Fung Yip
and Joey Chan all booked their second round berths at the PSA World Tour
the Hong Kong No.2 on the menís tour, got the better of Spainís Edmon
Lopez in four games. The World No.22 - who last year stunned three-time
World Champion Ramy Ashour to reach the second round for the first time
- was pegged back after taking a one-game advantage.
But he was able to re-establish his lead over the course of the next two
games to complete an 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 victory to ensure that he
will take on New Zealandís World No.8 Paul Coll in the last 32.
ďI think Edmon started really well in the first game,Ē said 28-year-old
ďHe was more aggressive and first to the ball and I figured that out and
tried to keep the ball into the back corners and minimise the angle. I
tried to avoid letting him volley and it worked.
ďI like to play here because lots of people support the local players
and I hope I can perform well in front of the crowd. I feel more
motivated to play here."
Fung Yip overcame Finlandís Olli Tuominen in a comfortable straight
games victory and the World No.25 will line up against Englandís George
Parker in round two.
ďIím always happy to get the win,Ē said Fung Yip.
ďI love playing here, I grew up watching this tournament, so for me it
is a big journey through and Iím very pleased to play in front of a home
crowd. When the crowd are here they support me and I feel more
Elsewhere at the Hong Kong Squash Centre, Indiaís World No.68 Ramit
Tandon upset Scotlandís World No.40 Alan Clyne to ensure he will play
Englandís Tom Richards next, while in-form Welshman Joel Makin halted
tournament wildcard Chi Him Wong to set up an exciting second round
match with England No.1 Declan James.
World No.53 Joshua Masters came back from 2-0 down to scalp the
higher-ranked Chris Simpson in what was his first ever win at a Platinum
event. He will clash with Malaysiaís Eain Yow Ng next after he defeated
World No.43 Ben Coleman.
Meanwhile, Chan booked her round two berth courtesy of a 3-1 victory
against South Africaís Alexandra Fuller, winning 11-7, 10-12, 11-2, 11-7
in 38 minutes. Chanís reward is a second round match against Egyptís
Salma Hany, who received a bye into the second round.
Chanís was almost joined in the next round by compatriot Liu Tsz-Ling,
who took World No.31 Nele Gilis to five, but the Belgian came out on top
in the decider to set up a second round match with World No.1 and
defending champion Nour El Sherbini.
feel relieved,Ē Gilis said afterwards.
ďThe last two times we have played was last season and I lost both
times. I knew playing her today that it would be tough, itís her home
court and her home crowd so I knew she was going to be strong. I felt
edgy through the match and I mentally had to push hard and that helped
in the end."
The biggest upset in the womenís draw saw Englandís Julianne Courtice
overturn a two-game deficit to defeat World No.22 Mariam Metwally on her
Hong Kong Open debut.
Courtice, the Manchester-based World No.42, found herself staring down
the barrel of defeat after some controlled squash from her Egyptian
counterpart. However, she came back to take the third, before fighting
back from 8-5 down in the fourth to draw level. The fifth game proved to
be a tight battle, but Courtice clinched it on the tie-break to set up a
second round fixture with Walesí World No.9 Tesni Evans.
my first time in Hong Kong and playing on that centre court, so I was
really excited to get on,Ē said the 27-year-old.
ďI had a close first game and first half of the second but it ran away
quickly from me. In the third, I just thought I have nothing to lose so
might as well just go out and give it my all and then just kept going. I
feel like this is a bonus match against Tesni and itís great to play one
of the top 10 players in the world.Ē
United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy swept past Amanda Landers-Murphy in just
20 minutes and she will play Hong Kong No.1 Annie Au for a place in
round three. Englandís Millie Tomlinson is also through to the last 32
after beating Egyptís Nada Abbas in straight games and she will go up
against 10-time winner Nicol David in the next round.
World No.41 Danielle Letourneau was also a surprise winner on day one as
the Canadian beat World No.29 Nadine Shahin and her reward is a round
two matchup with Englandís World No.11 Alison Waters.
The second round begins on Tuesday November 20 when defending champions
Mohamed ElShorbagy and El Sherbini begin their tournaments. Matches from
centre court will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and
Eurosport Player (Europe only) from 12:00 local time (GMT+8).
Nour El Sherbini says that she will fight to keep her hands on her World
No.1 spot at next weekís Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Open as she
aims to hold off the challenge of World No.2 Raneem El Welily.
Title victories at the China Open and U.S. Open have seen El Welily cut
the points gap between herself and El Sherbini at the summit of the
rankings to just 26 points and she will end El Sherbiniís 31-month reign
at World No.1 if she equals or surpasses the 23-year-oldís results in
But El Sherbini - who beat El Welily to win the Hong Kong Open last year
- is determined to hold onto the coveted World No.1 spot, which she has
held since May 2016.
"I will fight for the spot until the end," said El Sherbini.
"However, the No.1 spot is based on numbers and it can go up or down
according to the events being played. Itís out of my hands now, but Iím
aiming to win as many titles as I can and then the ranking will come.
"There is no pressure [on her] at all, itís another challenge for me and
I have to deal with it. Itís not the end of the world for me, thereís
still more I want to achieve in the sport. I have always aimed for
records and this is what I will do."
Despite dominating the 2017/18 season, El Sherbini has made a slow start
to the current campaign and is hoping that she can kick on in Hong Kong
as she aims to retain her title.
She said: "Itís been a slow start, I started my summer training a bit
late due to an injury, but we still have a long season [ahead]. I feel
Iím getting better each tournament and Iím looking for better results
"[Last year] It was my first World Series [title] to win [last] season
and was a very proud moment for me. The Hong Kong Open has a huge
history and Iím proud to put my name beside the legends who have won
that tournament before."
El Sherbini will top the draw in Hong Kong between November 19-25 and
features alongside the likes of El Welily, 10-time winner Nicol David
and Franceís Camille Serme, while World No.12 Annie Au heads the home
hopes in the womenís draw.
Meanwhile, defending menís champion Mohamed ElShorbagy returns and will
compete against World No.2 Ali Farag, Germanyís Simon RŲsner, Colombiaís
Miguel Angel Rodrigue and more. Max Lee and Leo Au are the
highest-ranked Hong Kong players in the draw.
The Hong Kong Open is the third Platinum tournament of the season and
will take place at the Hong Kong Squash Centre between November 19-22
before moving to the Hong Kong Park Sports Centre between November
$329,000 will be equally split between the menís and womenís draws for
the first time, while the winners of the tournament will qualify for the
season-ending PSA World Tour Finals.
Glass court fixtures from the Hong Kong Open will be shown live on
SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only). The
semi-finals and finals will be shown by major broadcasters around the
world, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
For more information, follow the tournament on Facebook, Twitter or
visit the event website.
2018 Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open Ė Menís Draw  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye]
[9/16] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) [bye]
[17/32] Alan Clyne (SCO) v Ramit Tandon (IND)
Mostafa Asal (EGY) v [17/32] Tom Richards (ENG)
[17/32] Joel Makin (WAL) v [WC] Chi Him Wong (HKG)
[9/16] Declan James (ENG) [bye]
[17/32] Leo Au (HKG) v Edmon Lopez (ESP)
 Paul Coll (NZL) [bye]
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) [bye]
[WC] Henry Leung (HKG) v [17/32] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
[17/32] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v Ben Coleman (ENG)
Joshua Masters (ENG) v [17/32] Chris Simpson (ENG)
[9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER) [bye]
Todd Harrity (USA) v [17/32] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[17/32] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Rex Hedrick (AUS)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) [bye]
 Simon RŲsner (GER) [bye]
Peter Creed (WAL) v [17/32] Adrian Waller (ENG)
[9/16] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) [bye]
[9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY) [bye]
[17/32] Zahed Salem (EGY) v Karim El Hammamy (EGY)
Mazen Gamal (EGY) v [17/32] Greg Lobban (SCO)
[9/16] Max Lee (HKG) [bye]
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) [bye]
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) [bye]
Nathan Lake (ENG) v [17/32] Lucas Serme (FRA)
[17/32] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) v Olli Tuominen (FIN)
George Parker (ENG) v [17/32] Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) [bye]
[9/16] Diego Elias (PER) [bye]
[17/32] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Arturo Salazar (MEX)
 Ali Farag (EGY) [bye]
2018 Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open Ė Womenís Draw  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) [bye]
Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) v [17/32] Nele Gilis (BEL)
[17/32] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
 Annie Au (HKG) [bye]
 Tesni Evans (WAL) [bye]
Julianne Courtice (ENG) v [17/32] Mariam Metwally (EGY)
[17/32] Zeina Mickawy (EGY) v Low Wee Wern (MAS)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) [bye]
 Joelle King (NZL) [bye]
Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) v [17/32] Mayar Hany (EGY)
[17/32] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS)
 Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) [bye]
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) [bye]
[WC] Lee Ka Yi (HKG) v [17/32] Milou van der Heijden (NED)
[17/32] Fiona Moverley (ENG) v Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) [bye]
 Camille Serme (FRA) [bye]
Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [17/32] Rachael Grinham (NED)
[17/32] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v Nada Abbas (EGY)
 Nicol David (MAS) [bye]
 Alison Waters (ENG) [bye]
Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v [17/32] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[17/32] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [WC] Vanessa Chu (HKG)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) [bye]
 Laura Massaro (ENG) [bye]
Haley Mendez (USA) v [17/32] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
[17/32] Joey Chan (HKG) v Alexandra Fuller (RSA)
 Salma Hany (EGY) [bye]
 Victoria Lust (ENG) [bye]
Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [17/32] Coline Aumard (FRA)
[17/32] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Rachel Arnold (MAS)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) [bye]
Hong Kong duo Annie Au and Leo Au are hoping to benefit from partizan
home support at the Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open later
this month when the siblings compete at the PSA World Tour Platinum
The Hong Kong Open is the third Platinum tournament of the season and
will take place at the Hong Kong Squash Centre between November 19-22
before moving to the Hong Kong Park Sports Centre between November
Itís the biggest professional squash tournament to take place in Hong
Kong and both Annie and Leo are hoping to channel the support of their
home crowd as they look to reach the latter stages of the tournament.
you see a lot of familiar faces and hear their cheers during the match,
it feels amazing and inspires you to push even harder," said Annie.
"Itís an opportunity to play in front of the home crowd besides the
national [championships]. Iím really looking forward and Iím ready to
play my best."
Leo echoes his older sisterís thoughts and believes that playing on home
soil helped inspire him to a stunning upset of defending champion Ramy
Ashour at last yearís tournament.
said: "It was amazing to have a good performance in front of the home
crowd and also in a big tournament. Ramy Ashour is one of the legends in
squash and people always enjoy watching him play, so I hope he can stay
injury-free and bring more good squash to us.
"Iím always excited to play in my home country, it is the biggest PSA
tournament in Hong Kong, so I'm really looking forward to that.
"I feel great playing in Hong Kong because there are always lots of
people to support the local players. At the same time, the Hong Kong
government, Hong Kong Sports Institute and Hong Kong Squash also
contribute a lot to the local squash players, so I think these are the
factors that improve my performance."
Leo wrote his name into the history books in July when he broke into the
worldís top 20 alongside compatriot Max Lee, marking the first time in
history that two male players from Hong Kong have achieved that
milestone at the same time.
World No.12 Annie, a 15-time PSA Tour title winner, has featured in the
top 10 on a number of occasions and highlighted the support that Leo has
given her over the years, saying: "Every time when Iíve wanted to give
up, especially after a hard training session, he has always been out
there with me and encouraged me to push until the end."
Annie receives a bye into the second round where she will come face to
face with either United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy or New Zealandís Amanda
Landers-Murphy, while Leo faces Spainís Edmon Lopez in round one.
A win for the World No.22 would see him face World No.8 Paul Coll in the
last 32 where he will aim to cause yet another upset on home soil.
Glass court fixtures from the Hong Kong Open will be shown live on
SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while the
semi-finals and finals will be shown by major broadcasters around the
world, including BT Sport beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
This yearís Hong Kong Open is a historic edition of the tournament, with
equal prize money on offer for the first time ever. $329,000 will be
split between the menís and womenís draws and the winners of the
tournament will also qualify for the season-ending PSA World Tour