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30/11/2015
Hong Kong Open 2015

Reports
  Final      Semi Finals      Quarter Finals     2nd Round    1st Round   Preview
Hong Kong Open 2015  Men's Draw
01-06 Dec
Hong Kong, China, $150k
Round One 
01/02 Dec
Round Two
03 Dec
Quarters
04 Dec
Semis
05 Dec
Final
06 Dec
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8 (33m)
Peter Barker (ENG)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
walkover
Saurav Ghosal
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (34m)
Mathieu Castagnet
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-4, 11-6, 11-9 (39m)
Omar Mosaad
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-8, 11-6, 11-8 (41m)
Cameron Pilley
Steve Coppinger (RSA)
9-11, 11-3, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9 (76m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
12-14, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (69m)
Daryl Selby (ENG)
Daryl Selby
11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5 (66m)
Mathieu Castagnet
[8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
11-5, 11-9, 11-5 (39m)
[Q] Greg Lobban (SCO)
[6] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5 (56m)
Max Lee (HKG)
Omar Mosaad
4-11, 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 (81m)
Lucas Serme
Omar Mosaad
3-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 13-11 (102m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
Borja Golan (ESP)
10-12, 11-6, 12-10, 14-12 (74m)
[Q] Lucas Serme (FRA)
Alan Clyne (SCO)
11-7, 11-5, 11-3 (54m)
Chris Simpson (ENG)
Chris Simpson
12-10, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5 (64m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
[4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 8-3 retired (46m)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[wc] Leo Au (HKG)
11-3, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7 (53m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Gregory Gaultier
11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 11-6 (62m)
James Willstrop
Gregory Gaultier
11-9, 12-10, 12-10 (44m)
Cameron Pilley
Cameron Pilley
11-9, 13-11, 12-10 (59m)
Nick Matthew
James Willstrop (ENG)
13-15, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (60m)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[Q] Rex Hedrick (AUS)
11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (34m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Cameron Pilley
9-11, 11-5, 13-15, 11-7, 11-6 (87m)
Simon Rosner
[Q] Olli Tuominen (FIN)
11-9, 11-9, 11-3 (34m)
[5] Simon Rosner (Ger)
[Q] Declan James (ENG)
12-10, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6 (52m)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY)
Tarek Momen
4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 (46m)
Tsz Fung Yip
Tarek Momen
15-13, 11-4, 6-11, 11-9 (62m)
Nick Matthew
[Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
11-6, 9-11, 11-1, 10-12, 11-9 (63m)
Tom Richards (ENG)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY)
11-9, 11-3, 10-12, 11-8 (49m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Zahed Mohamed
15-13, 11-4, 11-5 (46m)
Nick Matthew
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-4, 11-4, 11-9 (38m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG)

Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open

Results - Qualifying Finals: 2015 Menís Hong Kong Open, PSA World Series:
[1] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [16] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-2 (26m)
[9] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt [5] Shaun Le Roux (RSA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 13-11 (55m)
[14] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt [8] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (34m)
[4] Lucas Serme (FRA) bt [10] Joe Lee (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-3 (71m)
[3] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [12] Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (27m)
[7] Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt [11] Eddie Charlton (ENG) 3-2: 12-10, 10-12, 4-11, 11-8, 11-9 (74m)
[6] Declan James (ENG) bt [15] Ivan Yuen (MAS) 3-2: 5-11, 11-5, 11-8, 3-11, 11-6 (100m)
[2] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt [13] Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (47m)

Hong Kong Open 2015  Women's Draw
01-06 Dec
Hong Kong, China, $95k
Round One 
01/02 Dec
Round Two
03 Dec
Quarters
04 Dec
Semis
05 Dec
Final
06 Dec
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (24m)
[Q] Siyoli Waters (RSA)
Raneem El Welily
11-9, 11-3, 0-0 retired (14m)
Low Wee Wern
Raneem El Welily
11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (22m)
Amanda Sobhy
Raneem El Welily
11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (33m)
Laura Massaro

Laura Massaro
15-13, 11-5, 11-3 (39m)
Nicol David
Low Wee Wern (MAS)
11-7, 4-11, 9-11, 11-5, 14-12 (67m)
[Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-1 (40m)
Line Hansen (DEN)
Jenny Duncalf
11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (33m)
Amanda Sobhy
[8] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (28m)
Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
11-5, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4 (38m)
Joey Chan (HKG)
Nouran Gohar
11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (34m)
Emily Whitlock
Nouran Gohar
11-5, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6 (43m)
Laura Massaro
Emily Whitlock (ENG)
11-9, 11-1, 12-10 (43m)
[Q] Samantha Teran (MEX)
Heba El Torky (EGY)
11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (29m)
[Q] Vanessa Chu (HKG)
Heba El Torky
11-9, 11-5, 14-12 (34m)
Laura Massaro
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG)
11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (26m)
[Q] Christine Nunn (AUS)
Tesni Evans (Wal)
11-9, 13-11, 11-6 (38m)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA)
Camille Serme
7-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (45m)
Dipika Pallikal
Camille Serme
11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (28m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Omneya Abdel Kawy
11-4, 11-5, 11-2 (24m)
Nicol David
Habiba Mohamed (EGY)
11-9, 11-2, 11-2 (19m)
Dipika Pallikal (IND)
[Q] Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)
11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (28m)
Rachael Grinham (AUS)
Rachael Grinham
11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 9-11, 11-7 (39m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
[Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3 (27m)
[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
Joelle King (NZL)
11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 (43m)
[7] Annie Au (HKG)
Joelle King
9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6 (64m)
Joshna Chinappa
Joelle King
11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (30m)
Nicol David
[Q] Megan Craig (NZL)
11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (26m)
Joshna Chinappa (IND)
Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
3-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8, 12-10 (70m)
Delia Arnold (MAS)
Delia Arnold
11-1, 11-4, 11-3 (20m)
Nicol David
Liu Tsz Ling (HKG)
11-3, 11-7, 16-14 (35m)
[2] Nicol David (MAS)

Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open

Results - Qualifying Finals: 2015 Womenís Hong Kong Open, PSA World Series:
[1] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt [12] Vanessa Raj (MAS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-2 (22m)
[13] Vanessa Chu (HKG) bt [8] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (25m)
[7] Megan Craig (NZL) bt [9] Nouran El Torky (EGY) 3-2: 11-8, 4-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9 (50m)
[4] Coline Aumard (FRA) bt [10] Deon Saffery (WAL) 3-1: 11-6, 2-11, 13-11, 13-11 (46m)
Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) bt [3] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 3-0: 13-11, 11-7, 11-9 (31m)
[11] Christine Nunn (AUS) bt Menna Nasser (EGY) 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 8-11, 4-0 rtd (57m)
[5] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [16] Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (30m)
[2] Siyoli Waters (RSA) bt [15] Chloe Mesic (FRA) 3-2: 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-8 (47m)
 

Final   

David And Elshorbagy Triumph In Hong Kong

A scintillating performance from Nicol David saw her triumph in the finale of the 2015 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open by defeating in-form Laura Massaro 3-0 to bring the Englishwomanís 14 match unbeaten streak to an end and claim an unprecedented 10th consecutive Hong Kong Open crown in the process.

Competing in her 100th PSA World Tour final the Malaysian came into the match with the knowledge she hadnít lost here since 2004 and played with the confidence and aura that epitomised her style during a record 109-month streak as World No.1 as she controlled the court to hit an astounding 30 winners during the 39 minute encounter.

ďWinning the title in Hong Kong tonight for the tenth time means so, so much to me,Ē said David, who notched up her 80th career title with victory.

ďI love playing here and itís a very special place for me. I really wanted to win this title and end the year strongly so winning tonight was extra special. I enjoyed every minute on court.

ďI felt good and I think that was one of my best performances in quite a while. I know sheís a fighter who comes back strong but I wanted it so badly today that I think that was the difference. I wanted to attack from the start and just give it everything I had to get my hands on the trophy.

ďThis tournament has been one of the best I have ever played and from now on itís all upwards. If I keep playing the way Iím playing and performing well then I know titles will start to come again.Ē

Massaro, who will become World No.1 in January, said: ďIt was a high quality match and I tried to fight for every point but it was just too much in the end.

ďThe first game was crucial and it could have been a different match if Iíd taken that one but Nicol was playing at her best today, and I was a little off my best, and that was ultimately the difference.Ē

In the menís draw Egyptís Mohamed Elshorbagy successfully defended his crown by downing surprise title-challenger Cameron Pilley 3-0.

The 24-year-old Egyptian, who fell to World No.2 after a disappointing third round exit at last monthís PSA World Championship, stuttered at times but ultimately used his big match experience to his advantage to restrict the hard-hitting Australian, who defeated World No.7 Simon RŲsner, World No.1 Gregory Gaultier and World No.3 Nick Matthew en route to the finale.

Elshorbagy edged a closely contested opening game and from then on enjoyed the ascendency as he took the match and the title 11-8, 11-6, 11-8.

ďWinning a major final is always a great feeling and I really wanted to come here and defend the title I won last year,Ē said Elshorbagy.

ďHong Kong is one of the biggest tournaments and titles on the tour and there are some great names on that trophy so itís an honour to know that my name will be on there beside them once again.

ďCameron has had a great week, beating Greg and Nick especially, but I am pleased with how I was able to put it all together this week and especially tonight. I feel like Iíve dealt well with the tournament mentally all week and Iím very happy to win and end the year on a high.Ē
 

Semi Finals

Historic Night In Hong Kong As Massaro, David, Elshorbagy And Pilley Make Finals

A momentous night of semi-final action at the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open saw all four victors celebrate momentous moments in their careers ahead of the finals.

In the womenís draw in-form Laura Massaro extended her recent wining streak on the PSA World Tour to 14 matches after a stunning display saw her defeat World No.1 Raneem El Welily and move into a third consecutive PSA World Series tournament final, where sheíll be hoping to add to the Delaware Investments U.S. Open and Qatar Classic crowns she has already collected so far during the 2015/16 season.

The victory, which Massaro wrapped up in comprehensive fashion after just 33 minutes, was even sweeter for the 32-year-old as it ensures she will now top the World Rankings for the first time in her career come January 1st.

ďIím really, really happy to be in another World Series final,Ē said Massaro. ďIíve never made it to the final at this tournament so Iím excited for tomorrow.

ďI felt like I was in a good place before the match today and I knew how important it was to get off to a strong start and thatís exactly what I did. I was very pleased but I canít get too excited with the win because thereís still another match to go and a job to do.

On hearing the news that she will become World No.1 in January Massaro added: ďThe World No.1 has been a huge mountain that Iíve been climbing and itís certainly come as a great early Christmas present.

ďIt means everything to me. I trained hard over the summer after taking a break and the focus was all about competing and challenging for major titles. Itís gone better than I could have expected, winning three titles already, and I knew that if I could hit my goals of winning titles then the rankings would take care of itself.Ē

Massaro will face defending champion Nicol David in the decider as the Malaysian went one step closer to winning an unprecedented 10th consecutive Hong Kong Open crown by ruthlessly dispatching Egyptís Omneya Abdel Kawy in just 24 minutes - securing a place in what will be the 100th PSA World Tour final of her career in the process.

ďItís a real feat for any player to beat someone like Omneya 3-0 so that is a great result for me,Ē said David.

ďI feel like I played well today and kept my focus right through to the end. I have a good record here but thatís not in my mind. Hong Kong is like a second home to me but Iím just happy to be playing well and enjoying my squash.

ďLaura and I always have big battles and good matches, the last few have been very close, so hopefully tomorrow will be another good match.Ē

In the menís draw defending champion Mohamed Elshorbagy emulated the feat of Massaro by defeating compatriot Omar Mosaad to regain his place as the World No.1 in the process.

Elshorbagy fell to a disappointing third round exit at the World Championships last week, where Mosaad finished runner-up, which cost him his place as World No.1 after a 13-month streak but he played with composure and precision to halt Mosaadís charge and return to the summit of the World Rankings.

ďIíve been really happy with how I have played this whole week,Ē said Elshorbagy. ďLast year after losing the World Championship final I reacted badly but this year it has been very different - I was very quiet after that loss last week, which is unusual for me as Iím an emotional person, but I just kept my head down and focused on what I need to do here.

ďI hadnít been enjoying my squash this season. I felt like I was being forced on court with the pressure but this week I feel like I want to be on court again and Iím enjoying every shot and thatís the most important thing for me.

ďI came here to do two jobs; reclaim the World No.1 spot and retain the title. One down and hopefully I will do the other tomorrow. Iím relaxed, Iím sleeping well and I canít wait to play one more major final and do what I can to end the year on a high.Ē

Elshorbagy will face unexpected finalist Cameron Pilley in the title decider after the hard-hitting Australian picked up from where he left off in his quarter-final victory over World No.1 Gregory Gaultier to defeat World No.3 Nick Matthew in just under an hour to reach his first ever World Series Final.

A phenomenal fightback in the second game, when he surged from 10-5 down to force a tiebreak which he took 12-10 courtesy of some thunderous winners, epitomised a career-defining performance for the 33-year-old.

ďIíve played Nick so many times and Iíve only managed to beat him twice before - heís such a tough competitor,Ē said Pilley.

ďBut I guess I just played that little bit better today. Looking back on the match that second game was a big moment. The difference from 1-1 and 2-0 is huge so it was maybe a turning point, but it was just a case of not giving up.

ďYou get times when you hit a purple patch and are in the zone and this week seems to be going that way for me.

ďItís the biggest tournament of my career. Iím really enjoying being out there and playing the way I want to play. Iíve cleared my mind a bit over the last few weeks and itís really paid off but Iím trying not to get too excited.

ďIn a few weeks when I look back on it Iím sure it will be great achievement but at the moment Iím not getting ahead of myself - thereís another match to go and my focus is on that.Ē
 

Quarter Finals

Pilley Stuns World Champion And World No.1 Gaultier In Hong Kong Quarters

Australian Cameron Pilley recorded one of the biggest wins of his career as he dumped reigning World Champion and World No.1 Gregory Gaultier out of the 2015 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open in straight games at the quarter-final stage to reach the last four of a PSA World Series tournament for the first time in his career.

The hard-hitting 33-year-old followed up his impressive five-game second round win over World No.7 Simon RŲsner with an accomplished display against Gaultier, commanding the court as he played with precision and power to record just his second ever win over the Frenchman and set up a last four battle with Englandís Nick Matthew.

ďItís strange because this whole tournament I havenít really been thinking about getting anywhere,Ē said Pilley.

ďI literally took it one match at a time, I didnít even look at the draw to see who Iíd play after I won my match yesterday and itís working, because this is the first time Iíve ever made a World Series semi-final - after 14 years of trying!

ďIt was a tough match but I feel like I played exceptionally well. It didnít even enter my head that he might be tired - you canít think of those things and Iím experienced enough to know that if you give someone as good as him an opportunity he will take it. But mentally I think i wanted it more today and Iím really looking forward to playing in the semis tomorrow.

ďIím trying to stay calm and collected on court - after the tournament Iím sure Iíll look back on this as a good achievement but for now Iím just going to practice tomorrow, play tomorrow night, and see where it goes and hopefully I can play well again.Ē

Matthew booked his berth courtesy of a polished victory over Tarek Momen, the man who beat him in the quarter-finals of last weekís World Championship, while World Championship runner-up Omar Mossad booked an unlikely semi-final spot after saving six match balls in a thrilling 102-minute battle with Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

Mossad looked to be heading for an early exit as he lost the opening two games 3-11 but showed impressive strength of character to come back and win in dramatic style.

ďThat was very, very tough but Iím delighted to win in the end and reach the semi-finals here in Hong Kong for the first time ever,Ē said Mosaad, who faces Mohamed Elshorbagy for a place in the final.

ďHe played so well in the first two games and I was feeling it - I had a tough match yesterday and a hard week last week at the World Championship so I just told myself to take it point by point in the third and see what happens.

ďit started to change and I stuck with that approach in the fourth. I was so tired after that game but I kept telling myself this could be my last match of the year and just push and push. At 10-5 I thought it was the end but I somehow got some points in a row.Ē

In the womenís draw the last four sees World No.1 Raneem El Welily take on World No.2 Laura Massaro in a match of huge significance for both players, with the victor all but guaranteed to top the world rankings come January 1st.

Massaro has been the in-form player so far this season, winning back-to-back World Series titles at the U.S. Open and Qatar Classic, but El Welily booked her semi-final spot with a ruthless win over Amanda Sobhy, taking just 22-minutes to dispatch the American in a performance that hinted at a return to form for the 26-year-old who has failed to reach the last four of a PSA World Series tournament so far in the 2015/16 season.

ďIím hoping for a good match tomorrow and I know it will be tough because sheís the No.1,Ē said Massaro.

ďWe havenít played since June and Iíve been on a good run lately and sheís maybe not been at her best so Iím excited. Personally the pressure is off. Obviously I want to win but I want to play pressure free because Iíve come into this event with two great wins in Qatar and US Open.

ďI have been closing the gap (on No.1 spot) over the season and I fee like Iím on a mission right now. Iím on a roll and my game is heading the way I want to but to be No.1 you have to beat the No.1 so if it doesnít happen tomorrow then I feel like it will come soon. I maybe havenít been able to say that at any point before so thatís a nice position to be in.Ē

El Welily said: ďI havenít been playing my best lately so Iíve been trying to work hard on my game at home and Iím happy that Iíve been playing better so far this week. Tomorrow will be a tough test, especially as it will be on a different court, but I definitely want to win this title so Iím looking forward to the challenge.Ē

The bottom half of the draw will see defending champion Nicol David face Omneya Abdel Kawy, where the Malaysian will be aiming to take another step towards an unprecedented 10th consecutive Hong Kong Open crown.

ďI felt good on court today and Iím looking forward to playing in the semi-final tomorrow,Ē said David. ďIím not thinking of my record here, Iím just focusing on what I need to do on court and Iíll be giving it my all to reach the final.Ē
 

2nd Round

World Champion Gaultier Comes Through Stern Test To Reach Hong Kong Quarters

Just one week after defeating a resurgent James Willstrop in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Championship en route to the title Gregory Gaultier was once again forced to produce some of his best squash to defeat the towering Englishman in the second round of the Menís Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open today (Dec 3).

It took the Frenchman over 60 minutes to secure his place in the quarter-finals of the PSA World Series tournament, one of few titles to have eluded him during a glittering career, at the expense of Willstrop, whoís shock victory over Mohamed Elshorbagy during the World Championship helped Gaultier to top the World Rankings this month.

The 32-year-old from Aix-en-Provence began impressively, utilising his pace and power to take advantage of a misfiring Willstrop. ĎThe Marksmaní upped his game in the third as he began to find his range, firing in pinpoint shots from all areas of the court to reduce the deficit but Gaultier dug into his reserves to mount a huge challenge in the fourth game and his doggedness was rewarded when he sealed the match 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 11-6.

ďThat was one of the toughest matches I could have had at this stage in a tournament and I really had to give my all,Ē said Gaultier.

ďHe proved last week at the worlds that he can beat anyone so I knew I had to be sharp. I had to push myself mentally and physically especially in the fourth game when I gave everything in the tank to try and take control of the match away from him.

ďI feel a little bit physically drained after winning the World Championship but mentally Iím still there. I struggled yesterday in the first round and today was a tough match as well but these kind of matches can help keep you sharp.

ďEven if my body isnít 100 per cent, mentally I want to finish the year on a positive note. You canít be 100 per cent all year round but you can give your best on court each day and there are always solutions to problems so Iím going t be giving it my all this week.Ē

Gaultier will line up against Australian Cameron Pilley, after he got the better of German Simon RŲsner, for a place in the semi-finals while the man Gaultier lost to in the final of the 2014 edition of the Hong Kong Open, Elshorbagy, progressed to the last eight without breaking sweat after Indian Saurav Ghosal conceded their match due to injury.

In the womenís draw English World No.2 Laura Massaro extended her current unbeaten streak on the PSA World Tour to 12 matches as she dispatched Egyptian challenger Heba El Torky 3-0.

Massaro has so far claimed back-to-back PSA World Series titles during the 2015/16 season, winning at the U.S. Open and Qatar Classic, and will be hoping to complete an impressive hat trick this week during the 30th staging of the Hong Kong Open but will face a stern challenge from her main title rivals Raneem El Welily, the World No.1, and Nicol David, the World No.3.

ďI felt like the match was a bit scrappy at times today,Ē said Massaro, who took 34 minutes to complete the 11-9, 11-5, 14-12 win.

ďThe rallies were short and there was not much rhythm. It was tough to get through it but Iím really happy to have got a 3-0 win in the end.

ďComing home after winning in Qatar I had a few days off but then my mind was back on training and it wasnít difficult to refocus on coming here to Hong Kong. I had a good two weeks at home which gave me plenty of time to get some good training in and Iím feeling good.

ďThis is a World Series event and as such carries a lot of emphasis - itís very important and Iím fully focused on doing as well here as I can and performing to my best. Itís great to be in the quarters of another World Series tournament so hopefully I can perform an well again tomorrow.Ē

Massaro will face Nouran Gohar in the last eight while El Welily made her way into the quarter-finals after commanding against Low Wee Wern, with the Malaysian conceding the match at the end of the second game.

El Welily will now face sharp shooting American Amanda Sobhy for a place in the semi-finals, where she could line up against Massaro in what could be a crucial match in the context of the world rankings with the victor of that potential bout almost guaranteed to hold the No.1 status come January 1st.
 

1st Round Lower Half

Yip Stuns Richards To Make History In Hong Kong

22-year-old Tsz Fung Yip became the first local player in over 15 years to reach the second round of the Menís Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, PSA World Series tournament, after upsetting the odds to defeat Englishman Tom Richards in a gripping first round encounter.

The World No.59 put in the performance of his career as he controlled the court against Richards, the current No.23 who previously ranked as high as No.12, dominating proceedings throughout a thrilling five-game encounter that saw him become the first local player to reach the second round since Faheem Khan in 1998.

Yip, who earned his place in the main draw after defeating Mahesh Mangaonkar in the final round of qualification, could easily have taken the match in straight-games but saw nerves get the better of him as he squandered commanding leads in the second and fourth games - including wasting three match balls in the fourth. But he managed to regain his composure in the fifth to seal the biggest win of his career 11-6, 9-11, 11-1, 10-12, 11-9.

ďOf course I am very happy to win today as it wasnít something I expected to happen,Ē said Yip.

ďTo win a match in a big tournament like thais against such a good player is a huge win for me - iItís a great day and I canít wait to play in the second round now.

ďI had match ball at 10-7 in the fourth and I got very nervous. I wanted to win as fast as possible and I got too excited. I needed to go back to the game plan in the fifth and it was very tough to refocus but I tried to play it one shot at a time and thankfully it worked out for me.Ē

Yip will now face Tarek Momen in the second round after the Egyptian saw off English qualifier Declan James while Hong Kong national champion Leo Auís competition came to a close despite impressing in defeat as he fell to a 3-1 loss to World Champion Gregory Gaultier on a day that saw all other home hopes crash out of the PSA World Series tournament.

In the womenís draw all three local representatives were halted out at the first hurdle, with World No.10 Annie Au the biggest casualty as she fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat to New Zealandís Joelle King, the former World No.4.

King was composed and controlled throughout the encounter as she executed a perfect game plan, preventing the dextrous Au from using her range of drop shots and lobs, hitting with power and precision to record a 11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 and move into the second round to face Indian Joshna Chinappa.

ďWhen you play Annie here you always have to play the crowd as well and thatís tough,Ē said King.

ďSheís so dangerous, especially on this court, but I think my game plan worked really well. I managed to keep the ball away from her weapons and I got off pretty unscathed in the end so Iím happy with that, I think it was a solid performance, and Iím feeling fresh for tomorrow and looking forward to the second round.

ďI had the injury and missed a lot of time on tour but thatís all put to bed now. Iím trying to get back to where I was, if not better, and I feel like Iím on the way top doing that and I feel like itís all starting to come together.Ē

Former World No.1 Rachael Grinham defeated another local player, Ho Tze-Lok, while defending champion Nicol David began her bid to win a incredible 10th consecutive Hong Kong Open title with a straight forward victory over wildcard Liu Tsz-Ling.

David, who dropped to a ten year low of World No.3 in the December rankings, was in sublime form to see off the spirited challenger in just 35 minutes and will now line up with national compatriot Delia Arnold for a place in the quarter-finals.

ďI have so many memories here in Hong Kong from winning my first World Championship title here to when I played my first junior event when I was 11 so I always get a good buzz being here,Ē said David.

ďI always want to bring my best game to the front when Iím here and I enjoyed the match today, there was a good buzz from the crowd and I felt like I played well. She upped her game in the third but I managed to stick to my game plan and get off in three in the end.

ďIím enjoying playing at the moment and Iím trying to work on my performances. If I feel good and play well then results will come. Iím happy to be in the second round and Iím looking forward to another good game tomorrow.Ē
 

1st Round Top Half

Serme Stuns Golan In Hong Kong Opener

French qualifier Lucas Serme pulled off the biggest win of his career to date as he stunned former World No.5 Borja Golan in the first round of the 2015 Menís Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, PSA World Series tournament, currently taking place at the Hong Kong Squash centre.

The 23-year-old World No.49 put in a fine performance as he nullified the Spanish World No.17 in a bruising 74-minute encounter, utilising all four corners of the court as he came from one game behind to record an impressive victory that sees him progress to the second round of a PSA World Series tournament for the first time in his career, where World Championship runner-up Omar Mossad awaits.

ďThatís probably one of the best results Iíve had in my career so far so Iím just ecstatic with the win,Ē said Serme.

ďIíve watched a lot of his matches since I was young so I knew his game and he maybe didnít know too much about me. I was able to read him well and I think I frustrated him. I tried not to make many mistakes and just stick in there during the longer rallies and I think it was a case of him breaking before me

ďItís a great win for my rankings and a boost for me in terms of confidence so itís all positive. and hopefully I can play well again in the next round.Ē

Mossad booked his place in the second round with an accomplished victory over local favourite Max Lee, coming through 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, while World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy rebounded from his disappointing third round exit at the World Championship with a straightforward 3-1 victory over Peter Barker, which signalled the end of the Englishmanís career after he announced this would be his last competitive tournament.

ďPeter is a player I have admired and looked up to since I was a kid so it was an honour for me to be his last opponent on the PSA World Tour,Ē said Elshorbagy foliowing their encounter.

Elsewhere on day one of action there were wins for Daryl Selby, Mathieu Castagnet, Chris Simpson, Saurav Ghosal and Miguel Angel Rodriguez while in the womenís draw Malaysian Low Wee Wern celebrated her comeback to the PSA World Tour after a nine-month absence with a hard fought victory over Coline Aumard.

A knee injury had prevented the 25-year-old from competing on tour since Februaryís Windy City Open and she was given a tough welcome back by the tenacious Frenchwomen in a gritty 67 minute match. Low looked to be heading for an early exit when she found herself 2-1 down but managed to force a decisive fifth game and went on to save three match balls to keep her tournament alive, eventually coming through 11-7, 4-11, 9-11, 11-5, 14-12.

ďIím still not moving that well because I still have some pain in my knee,Ē said Low.

ďI had to really slow it down on there because my movement is hampered. I was a little lucky in the end but itís great to get a win - itís very pleasing.

ďOnce youíre an athlete you always want to win and compete. Iíve missed so much and I donít want to miss out on any more.Ē

Low is joined in the second round by World No.1 and No.2 Raneem El Welily and Laura Massaro, after they eased through their opening encounters at the Hong Kong Squash Centre while there were also wins for Jenny Duncalf, Amanda Sobhy, Nouran Gohar, Emily Whitlcok and Heba El Torky.
 

Home Trio Upset Seedings In Hong Kong Open Qualification

20-year-old local player Ho Tze-Lok, the lowest ranked player in the competition at World No.245, delighted home support as she upset the seedings in the final round of qualification at the 2015 Womenís Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open to reach the first round of the PSA World Series tournament.

Tze-Lok downed Japanese World No.35 Misaki Kobayashi in straight-games to earn a place against former World No.1 Rachael Grinham in the main draw of the prestigious tournament, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, while another local player, Vanessa Chu, also upset the seedings to earn a first round berth with victory over Milou van der Heijden.

In the menís draw Tsz Fung Yip added his name to the list of surprise local victors after downing Indian Mahesh Mangaonkar 3-0 to set up a first round clash with Englandís Tom Richards which he will be eyeing with optimism.

As a result there will now be local interest in five of the Womenís first round matches with Chu and Tze-Lok joining Annie Au, Joey Chan and Wildcard Liu Tsz-Ling in the 32-strong draw while Fung Yip completes a trio of local stars in the Menís draw, joining Leo Au and Max Lee.
 
Preview
Ashour Out Of Hong Kong Open

Egyptís Ramy Ashour has withdrawn from the upcoming 2015 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, which gets underway on December 1st, due to a hamstring injury.

The 28-year-old has struggled with recurring hamstring issues for the past 18-months and suffered his latest setback during the semi-final of last weekís Menís World Championship.

As a result Englandís Adrian Waller moves into the main draw of the PSA World Series tournament automatically to occupy the space vacated by the former World No.1 while Miguel Angel Rodriguez and Mathieu Castagnet both move up the seedings.

Englandís Peter Barker To Retire After Hong Kong Open

Former World No.5 Peter Barker has announced his retirement from squash after more than 13 years competing on the international scene.

The 32-year-old, who turned pro in 2002, is retiring due to persistent injury and will formally bow out following next weekís Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open 2015.

ďI think it has been apparent for a few months now that my announcement to retire has been coming,Ē said Barker.

ďIíve been struggling with a knee injury for some time that's just become more and more problematic. I'm obviously disappointed to make this decision a year or two earlier than Iíd wanted but in the same vein it feels the right time.

ďI'm very positive and excited about the next chapter of my life and delighted that Iíll have the opportunity to continue to work with England Squash. It means a great deal to me to stay involved with the game at a professional level and to hopefully give something back to the programme thatís supported me so well over the course of my career.

ďThere are so many people that I could thank that have helped to shape me, both on and off the court and even tried to control my emotions and temper. In particular, thank you to my wife, Alex, and my family for their continued love and support. Thank you to Wilson, my sponsor for over a decade, to Carts for his guidance and wisdom these past 20 years, and to Robbo for rekindling my passion for the game.Ē

Born in London, Barker turned professional in 2002 and reached a career high World Ranking of 5. A consistent and popular face on the PSA World Tour Barker played over 400 matches on tour, winning 16 PSA titles, clocked up 102 caps for England and won a silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games Mixed Doubles alongside Alison Waters and a bronze in 2014 (Glasgow) and 2010 (Delhi) individuals.

England National Coach Chris Robertson, said: ďPeter will rightly be remembered as an England great on and off the court. On court, Peter was technically proficient and tactically astute, yet his pride, passion and discipline made him the ultimate competitor.

ďOff court, heís been instrumental in driving the winning culture throughout the programme. For our coaching team we couldnít be prouder of his achievements and the legacy heís clearly left behind."

Barker will now dedicate some of his time to supporting the development of England Squash players as a Performance Consultant.

Performance Director, Tom Duggan added, ďPeterís presence in any England team has always been a reassuring sight as youíve always known the level of performance and commitment that he will give to the cause. Iím delighted that Peter will be continuing his long association with England Squash as a Performance Consultant from January.

ďHis work ethic, no-nonsense approach and knowledge of what it takes to win will be crucial as we look to develop a new generation of world-leading players and Iím looking forward to seeing the positive impact Peter can have with some of our younger Senior and England Academy players.Ē

 


 

 

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