Nafiizwan Adnan and New Zealand’s Joelle King triumphed in the finals of
the HKFC International, PSA M25 and W25 events, respectively, to secure
their first PSA World Tour titles of 2016.
A series of upsets throughout the main draw meant that Adnan was pitted
against World No.37 Paul Coll in the final, with Adnan defeating second
seed Leo Au in the last four.
Coll, meanwhile, came through a blistering five-game thriller with
tournament surprise package Ivan Yuen to secure his place in the final.
It was the man from New Zealand who started the better of the two,
storming into a 4-1 lead in the opener, before Adnan recovered to go a
game to the good. A series of long, tactical rallies played out in front
of an enraptured crowd in game two, with the duo trading blows
point-for-point until Adnan pulled away from 8-8 to double his
The 30-year-old maintained his momentum in the third game to surge ahead
and, despite Coll’s typically all-action style of play, Adnan held on to
close out the victory courtesy of an 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 scoreline - a win
that sees Adnan claim his maiden PSA M25 title.
"I did it, I’m really happy to win this tournament, it's my biggest yet
and a great way to finish the season," said Adnan.
"It's been a great event, really well organised, and the facilities at
the club are fantastic. I hope I can take this and come back stronger
King, meanwhile, took on Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa in the Women’s
final, with Chinappa looking to recover from back-to-back five-game
matches in the build-up to the showpiece finale.
Number one seed King took a two-game lead after edging ahead at crucial
points to take narrow wins in both. Chinappa clawed a game back though
in the third, as her clever movement and accurate hitting saw King
conceded two strokes in the last three points to give Chinappa a way
back into the encounter.
The fourth was a hotly contested affair with both players exchanging
points with gusto. King built up a match ball after a sublime volley
drop and converted at the first attempt to capture her first PSA World
Tour title since August last year.
"That was really tough," King said.
"Joshna had come through a couple of tough matches, but she didn't back
down at all. I went 2-0 up, but she just kept coming back at me and
didn't let go, so I'm just glad I was able to finish it off in four. I’m
really happy to come here and win this tournament, there's always a lot
of pressure when you're top seed.
Joshna Chinappa and Joelle King will face off in the final of the
HKFC International, PSA W25 tournament after claiming semi-final
victories over home hero Annie Au and Donna Urquhart, respectively.
Chinappa repelled Au’s attempts to play a slower, methodical style
of squash by injecting pace into the proceedings as she looked to
reach her first PSA World Tour final of 2016.
Au took the opening game, before Chinappa recovered to go 2-1 up,
only to see Au rally to take the fourth and set up a nail-biting
decider. Au managed to keep her opponent at arm’s length for much of
the final game as Chinappa began to grow frustrated with some of the
officiating, but she rediscovered some rhythm after Au had a stroke
decision changed to a let. Chinappa was spurred on to amass a match
ball, which Au tinned to hand Chinappa a place in her first ever PSA
“That was such a tough match, every point was fought to the max,”
“When she nearly got that stroke at the end of the fifth, it looked
like it was over, but I got a few points in a row, I was just so
relieved to win it. This is the biggest final I’ve ever made, I’m
really excited for tomorrow.”
King, meanwhile, overcame Urquhart in four to ensure that she will
take on Chinappa next as both players look to win their first PSA
World Tour silverware of 2016.
“Donna’s always a tough player to come up against,” King admitted.
“Our matches usually go to at least four games, but I think I
probably should have won that one 3-0. I was maybe off court before
I’d actually won them in the first two, that’s where I’ve been good
in earlier rounds so lesson learnt. It’s good to know I’ll be back
again tomorrow, it’s been a while since I played four matches in a
Second seed Leo Au secured passage through to the semi-final of the
HKFC International, PSA M25 tournament after coming through a
bruising five-game affair against Egypt’s Mohamed Reda on home soil.
Au, who is the highest seed left in the tournament after his
compatriot Max Lee exited in the previous round, went 2-1 down to a
tenacious Reda, and found himself 9-8 behind in the fourth after
finding his shots stunted by a shoulder problem.
The World No.26 recovered though to take the next three crucial
points, and that proved to be a catalyst for his revival as he eased
to victory in the decider to earn his last four berth.
“I still have some problems with my shoulder, and was struggling to
get too much power on my shots,” said Au.
“I just had to dig in, and fortunately he faded at the end. I just
hope I can play better tomorrow.”
Up next for Au is an encounter with Malaysian number three seed
Nafiizwan Adnan after he put in an impressive performance to
dispatch Egypt’s Mazen Gamal in straight games, picking up an 11-0
victory in the second game en route to his triumph.
Adnan’s compatriot, qualifier Ivan Yuen, continued the rich vein of
form that saw him shock Lee 3-2 in the opening round by taking out
Australia’s Rex Hedrick in as many games. The 25-year-old’s next
test will be against New Zealand’s Paul Coll, who overcame fourth
seed Adrian Waller.
“I started well, but I began to feel tired in the third and he just
kept grinding away,” Yuen said.
“In the fifth, I just had to give what I had, anIvd luckily got off
to a good start and built on it from there. It's been a great
tournament for me so far, I hope I can keep going.”
Top seed Joelle King advanced into the last four of the Women’s HKFC
International, PSA W25 tournament with a deceptively hard-fought
victory over India’s Dipika Pallikal seeing the New Zealander reach
her first PSA World Tour semi-final of 2016.
King took the victory in straight games, but was never quite in
control as number six seed Pallikal pushed her hard, before she
eventually prevailed in an 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 victory.
“It’s a good performance to beat a quality player like Dipika in
three,” said King.
“Last time we played I lost a really tough five-gamer, so I’m more
than happy with that. It was a bit like yesterday, I managed to stay
solid at the end of each game and shut down her attacking
opportunities. That’s two good days, but tomorrow is another day.”
The World No.9 will lock horns with Australia’s Donna Urquhart for a
place in the final after she overcame Malaysia’s Delia Arnold to
seal her semi-final berth.
Elsewhere, defending champion Annie Au joined brother Leo, who
reached the semi-final of the Men’s event, in the next round after
she came through in five to beat former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf. Au
quickly sailed into a two-game lead, before Duncalf upped the pace
of the match to fight back to all square.
Au then squandered a match ball at 10-9, but recovered to take the
win at the second attempt and set up a semi-final clash with Indian
No.1 Joshna Chinappa, who downed former World No.1 Rachael Grinham
in an exciting five-game affair.
“That was another really tough match,” Au said.
“I started well, but Jenny changed her game, attacked more and came
back well. In the fifth it was more about fighting to stay in it
rather than hitting shots. I feel happy and a little lucky to reach
Home hero and defending champion Max Lee bowed out of the HKFC
International, PSA M25 tournament at the first hurdle after falling
to a shock defeat against Malaysian qualifier Ivan Yuen – who is
ranked 43 places below World No.16 Lee in the World Rankings.
Top seed Lee, who was aiming to lift a third successive HKFC
International crown, prevailed in a close opening game, before
conceding the next two to Yuen, who then went 6-0 up in the fourth.
Lee battled back to level the fixture, before going 5-1 ahead in the
deciding game as he looked to escape an upset.
However, Yuen produced a virtuoso fightback to take 10 of the next
12 points on offer, securing arguably the biggest win of his career
courtesy of a stunning 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7 scoreline. His
reward is a meeting with Rex Hedrick in the last eight after the
Australian came back from two games down to defeat another local
player, Tsz Fung Yip.
“That's one of my best wins for sure,” said Yuen.
“I played really well, which is very pleasing after not winning a
match at the Asian Teams a week ago. At 6-0 in the fourth, I think I
relaxed and he came back strongly, but then at 1-5 in the fifth, I
just told myself to give everything, that there was no pressure on
me and it was all on him.”
Second seed Leo Au was pushed hard by Pakistani qualifier Tayyab
Aslam in his opening round fixture and he will meet Egypt’s Mohamed
Reda in the next round, with Reda beating wildcard Chi Him Wong to
Elsewhere, World No.76 Mazen Gamal became the second qualifier to
advance to the quarter-final after an impressive 3-1 victory against
England’s Declan James. Up next for Gamal is a fixture with
Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan, who eliminated India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar.
Fifth seed Paul Coll and number four seed Adrian Wallers were the
other victors on the opening day of action thanks to respective wins
against Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi and James Huang, and they will take
on each other for a place in the semi-final.
All eight of the seeded players – including local hope Annie Au –
sealed their places in the quarter-final of the HKFC International,
PSA W25 after coming out on top of their respective first round
fixtures on the opening day of action.
Au was pushed all the way to five games by compatriot and qualifier
Liu Tsz-Ling in a high-octane contest that saw World No.10 Au
recover from 7-2 and 8-4 down in each of the opening two games to
take them on the tie-break.
Liu deservedly clawed a game back before saving four match balls to
set up a deciding fifth game. Au finally managed to regain the upper
hand in the latter stages of the match though to close out the win
by an 12-10, 18-16, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8 margin of victory, setting up
a meeting with former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf, who beat Nicolette
Fernandes, in the last eight.
“She was playing so aggressively,” said Au.
“She was really putting me under pressure, I’m just happy to still
be in the draw. I should have practiced more on these courts,
hopefully I should be more used to them after that.”
Title favourite Joelle King will join Au in the next round after
coming through in four games against local player Joey Chan, and she
will line up against India’s Dipika Pallikal for a place in the
Meanwhile, Pallikal’s compatriot, the country’s number one player
Joshna Chinappa, defeated qualifier Salma Hany Ibrahim 3-1 to
advance to the quarter-final where she will face former World No.1
Rachael Grinham ,who survived an entertaining encounter with Tesni
Evans, eventually coming through 12-10 in the fifth.
Delia Arnold will meet Donna Urquhart in day two’s other match, with
victories over Vanessa Chu and wildcard Carmen Lee, respectively,
sending them through.
The HKFC would like to proudly introduce the 5th HKFC
Invitational squash tournament sponsored by MEML (Meco Engineering
This is the fifth year that the HKFC has hosted the PSA world
ranking squash tournament for Men and the third year for the Ladies
event. It will be held at the club between Monday 23rd May and
Saturday 28th 2016.
The tournament shall consist of a 16 qualifier and 16 main draw for
both the men's and lady's event.
The Qualifiers runs on Monday & Tuesday with the main draw starting
on Wednesday. Semi–finals on Friday 27th and final on Saturday 28th
The Men's top 4 seeds are Max Lee (world ranked 17), Saurav Ghosal
(18), Leo Au (26) and Nafiizwan Adnan (32).
The Lady's top 4 seeds are Joelle King (9), Annie Au (10), Joshana
Chinappa (14) and Delia Arnold (15)
We hope you will have time to come and support the event and watch
some of the best players in the world compete at the HKFC.