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28/08/2016
Hong Kong Open 2016

 

REPORTS & RESULTS BY ROUND 

Preview

Qualifying

Round One

Round Two

Quarters

Semis

Final

 

Latest

 

DRAW

Hong Kong Open 2016
Men's Draw
21-28 Aug
Hong Kong, Hong Kong, $150k
 
First Round
23-24 Aug
second Round
25 Aug
Quarters
26 Aug
Semis
27 Aug
Final
28 Aug
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-8, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8 (40m)
Chris Simpson (ENG)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 14-12, 11-9 (91m)
Cameron Pilley
Cameron Pilley
11/3, 7/11, 11/6, 11/7 (52m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
 
Karim Abdel Gawad
11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 12-10 (61m)
Ryan Cuskelly
 

Karim Abdel Gawad
11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6 (75m)
Ramy Ashour

 

Leo Au (HKG)
11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (35m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Mazen Hesham (EGY)
11-5, 11-8, 11-7 (45m)
[Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Mazen Hesham
11-5, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7 (53m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
Borja Golan (ESP)
16-14, 11-9, 11-9 (49m)
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Tarek Momen (EGY)
16-14, 11-9, 11-9 (49m)
[Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
Tarek Momen
5-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-7 (59m)
James Willstrop
James Willstrop
11/9, 11/8, 9/11, 11/7 (74m)
Ryan Cuskelly


 
Tom Richards (ENG)
11-5, 9-11, 11-4 (61m)
James Willstrop (ENG)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
12-10, 11-7, 11-2 (58m)
[Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
Ryan Cuskelly
11-5, 11-9, 11-4 (45m)
Tsz Fung Yip
[WC] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
13-11, 10-12, 2-11, 11-3, 11-6 (69m)
[3] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
11-3, 11-8, 6-11, 9-11, 11-7 (50m)
[Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Marwan ElShorbagy
9-11, 13-15, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (81m)
Ramy Ashour
Ramy Ashour
12/10, 7/11, 11/4, 11/9 (52m)
Simon Rösner
Ramy Ashour
11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (39m)

Max Lee
 
Ramy Ashour (EGY)
11-7, 11-6, 12-10 (47m)
SauraGhosal (IND)
Cesar Salazar (MEX)
12-10, 11-4, 11-2 (38m)
Simon Rösner (GER)
Simon Rösner
11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-4 (64m)
Mathieu Castagnet
[Q] Zahed  Mohamed (EGY)
11-9, 11-6, 11-9 (57m)
[5] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[7] Ali Farag (EGY)
11-9, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7 (53m)
[Q] Raphael Kandra (GER)
Ali Farag
11-8, 7-11, 13-11, 11-9 (55m)
Max Lee
Max Lee
11/6, 8/11, 11/9, 11/8 (64m)
Fares Dessouky
 
Max Lee (HKG)
11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (36m)
[Q] Joe Lee (ENG)
Fares Dessouky (EGY)
11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (35m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Fares Dessouky
6-11, 15-13, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10 (83m)
Gregory Gaultier
[Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (40m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)


2016 Hong Kong Open – Men's Qualifying Finals

Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-1: 12-10, 11-5, 7-11, 11-8 (56m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-1, 11-7 (36m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-1: 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10 (56m)
Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 3-1: 13-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6 (63m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 (35m)
Joe Lee (ENG) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-2: 11-1, 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8 (98m)
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 17-15 (45m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Alfredo Avila (MEX) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (47m)
 

 

Hong Kong Open 2016
Women's Draw
21-28 Aug
Hong Kong, Hong Kong, $115k
 

First Round
23-24 Aug
second Round
25 Aug
Quarters
26 Aug
Semis
27 Aug
Final
28 Aug
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
11-8, 11-4, 11-8 (30m)
Heba El Torky (EGY)
Nour El Sherbini
18-16, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7 (45m)
Annie Au
Nour El Sherbini
11/6, 11/7, 11/5 (20m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Nour El Sherbini
12-10, 11-5, 11-6 (33m)
Amanda Sobhy

 


Amanda Sobhy

11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6 (75m)
Nouran Gohar
[Q] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG)
9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (46m)
[11] Annie Au (HKG)
[10] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
12-10, 11-3, 11-6 (26m)
[Q] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
Joshna Chinappa
11-8, 12-10, 11-4 (24m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Line Hansen (DEN)
11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (25m)
[8] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
[7] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
11-3, 11-4, 11-6 (25m)
Joey Chan (HKG)
Amanda Sobhy
11-3, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (41m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
Amanda Sobhy
11/6, 11/4, 11/8 (27m)
Nour El Tayeb
 
Victoria Lust (ENG)
11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 14-16, 12-10 (94m)
[12] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
[16] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 11-7 (60m)
Donna Urquhart (AUS)
Nour El Tayeb
11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5 (37m)
Raneem El Welily
Rachael Grinham (AUS)
4-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 (28m)
[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
[4] Nicol David (MAS)
11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-5 (68m)
[Q] Tesni Evans (WAL)
Nicol David
11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5 (62m)
Joelle King
Nicol David
11/8, 13/11, 7/11, 11/2 (49m)
Camille Serme

Nicol David

11-9, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9 (57m)
Nouran Gohar
[Q] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (44m)
[9] Joelle King (NZL)
[14] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
1-11, 4-11, 11-7, 18-16, 11-7 (52m)
[WC] Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)
Ho Tze-Lok
11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (25m)
Camille Serme
Dipika Pallikal (IND)
11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 6-11, 11-6 (52m)
[6] Camille Serme (FRA)
[5] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (29m)
[Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
Nouran Gohar
11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (40m)
Alison Waters
Nouran Gohar
11/8, 11/9, 8/11, 8/11, 14/12 (80m)
Laura Massaro

 
[Q] Low Wee Wern (MAS)
11-5, 11-8, 11-7 (36m)
[13] Alison Waters (ENG)
[15] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
11-5, 11-4, 11-9 (31m)
[Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY)
Emily Whitlock
11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-2 (39m)
Laura Massaro
[Q] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
11-6, 9-11, 15-13, 7-11, 11-3 (60m)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG)


2016 Hong Kong Open – Women's Qualifying Finals

Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) 3-1: 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10 (59m)
Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) bt Sarah Cardwell (AUS) 3-2: 7-11, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 12-10 (64m)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt Hollie Naughton (CAB) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (31m)
Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Amina Youssry (EGY) 3-2: 11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5, 13-11 (59m)
Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt Fiona Moverley (ENG) 3-2: 13-11, 11-8, 6-11, 8-11, 12-10 (48m)
Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-5 (34m)
Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) 3-1: 12-14, 11-3, 11-5, 11-3 (44m)
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-9 (26m)
 

 

 Semi Finals Quarter Finals

REPORTS

Final

Egyptian Pair Gohar And Ashour Claim Hong Kong Open Crowns

There was double delight for Egyptian squash in the finals of the 2016 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open as three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour and World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar took the honours inside Hong Kong Park Sports Centre today.

In the women's final 18-year-old Gohar, who beat World No.2 Laura Massaro before ending World No.3 Nicol David's ten years of dominance at this event to reach the final, got off to a slow start against American Amanda Sobhy, quickly falling behind courtesy of a 6-11 first game that saw the Boston-based 23-year-old on fire.

But Gohar managed to lift her game and turn the match around by saving four game balls in the second game to snatch it 12-10 and from then on she was in total control, dominating the court to secure the title courtesy of a 6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-8 win.

"I can't believe it," said a delighted Gohar.

"I was 1-0 down and 10-7 down in the second game and I was just trying to stay on court and not be beaten 3-0 in the final.

"I tried to fight for every point and it paid off in the end. Raneem [El Welily], my mum and my coach, gave me a game-plan but I couldn't execute it on court in the first game.

"But I managed to change it up and push myself - I told myself it is a final and you have to give everything to win and I'm so happy to win - it's an amazing feeling to win a World Series tournament."

In the men's finale 28-year-old Ashour looked to have put his recent injury demons to bed as he came through a highly competitive and entertaining five-game battle with compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad, the World No.8 who was competing in his first ever PSA World Series tournament final.

2010 and 2012 champion Ashour has endured an injury-plagued two years on Tour, with repeated hamstring difficulties restricting him to competing in only a dozen events, but he looked to be back to his unpredictable best during a 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6 win that saw him string together spell-binding runs.

"It feels great to win here and winning the title means so much to me," said Ashour.

"I played a very tough opponent today. Karim's very smart and fluid on court so it is not easy to beat him and he's actually one of my favourite players on Tour. It was a collaboration of ideas to get past him but I thought it was a great show and I think we both enjoyed it

"It's been tough journey for me to get here but I've always wanted it so much. I feel empty without squash - playing fulfils everything inside me. I appreciate being able to play and to lunge without pain is such a blessing - I'll do whatever it takes to keep being the best I can be.

"I have so many people to thank - my parents, coaches, physio, promoters, sponsors, doctors, lawyers and fans - they've all helped me get to where I am now."

2016 Hong Kong Open – Women's Final
[5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [7] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-1: 6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-8 (43m)

2016 Hong Kong Open – Men's Final
Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6 (75m)

The victory sees Ashour and Gohar open up an early lead on the PSA Road To Dubai as the race to qualify for the season-ending Dubai World Series Finals gets underway.

The duo collected 100 points each to top the standings after the first PSA World Series tournament of the season and take the first step towards securing a place at the lucrative event that will take place in the Dubai Opera in June.
 

Semi Finals

18-Year-Old Gohar Ends David's 10 Year Hong Kong Reign
                                                                                                     click images for larger view
18-year-old World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar followed up her quarter-final victory over 2015 runner-up and World No.2 Laura Massaro with a sumptuous performance to end World No.3 Nicol David's unprecedented 10-year winning-streak at the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open and secure a place in the final.

David had gone an astonishing 58 matches unbeaten at the PSA World Series tournament, a streak that extended back beyond 2006, but came unstuck against a rampant Gohar, who utilised her ferocious power and attacking pace to outmuscle the Malaysian, who yesterday celebrated her 33rd birthday, 11-9, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9.

"I can't believe it - it's like a dream," said Gohar.

"I came here with no expectations and I just wanted to try and play well - so to be in the final is very pleasing.

"Nicol is a legend and she has been my idol since I was young but the Women's Tour is becoming so competitive now. There is nothing between the top eight to ten players and it keeps getting harder.

"I was 2-0 up but both games were close and they could have gone either way. I really couldn't believe it in the end."

Gohar will now face American Amanda Sobhy in the finale after the 23-year-old from Boston pulled off her own upset to defeat World No.1 and World Champion Nour El Sherbini courtesy of a spell-binding straight games victory.

Sobhy came from 0-4 down in the first game to then save five game balls and swing the early momentum to take the opening game 12-10 and inflict a blow that 20-year-old El Sherbini couldn't recover from.

"It took a little bit to get used to her pace at the start - she's not World No.1 for nothing," said Sobhy.

"At the start, I felt that I was just running and trying to retrieve, so I told myself to get into it, try and get the ball to the back and I'm very pleased with how I was able to come back.

"I think the first game was extremely important, given the fact I was 10-5 down. If she had won that game, it would have given her a lot of momentum, so the fact that I was able to win that, I think that the momentum shifted and I was able to build on a lot of confidence.

"I'm very excited to be in the final - it's amazing to be in my second World Series final and my first in Hong Kong. I absolutely love Hong Kong and I usually do very well here, so I hope to keep the momentum going tomorrow and maybe do one better."

In the men's draw home hero Max Lee's unexpected run finally came to a halt at the hands of maverick Egyptian Ramy Ashour, the three-time World Champion and 2012 Hong Kong Open champion.

Lee had delighted the crowd inside Hong Kong Park Sports Centre to become the first home player in 30 years to reach the last four but he couldn't stop a resurgent Ashour, who continued to play his unique blend of squash in a a 3-0 win.

"Last time I was here, I got kicked out of the quarter-finals, so to be in the final is a great feeling," said Ashour.

"Especially against a great opponent like Max, his squash is incredibly different and it took a lot out of me today.

"I'm happy with my performance, I'm glad that my body is holding up and everything is in place. I'm looking forward to playing tomorrow."

Ashour will face compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad in what will be the 25-year-old's first ever appearance in a World Series tournament final after he downed Australian challenger Ryan Cuskelly.

"I'm so happy, I can't describe the feeling," said Gawad.

"I was in control during the first two games but then he came back very strong and he was probably in control for the third and most of the fourth. I just gave everything to try and win that fourth because I knew he was getting better an better and a fifth game would be good for him.

"It has been a tough tournament and so many players have gone out. I had never reached the quarters here before so to be in the final in a great thing, but I don't want to get over excited either.

"There is still another match to play and I need to stay focused to come out and try and perform in that one."
 

Quarter Finals

Max Lee Delights Home Crowd To Reach Hong Kong Open Semi-final

Hong Kong's Max Lee sent the home crowd wild as he delivered a masterclass performance to defeat Egypt's Fares Dessouky and book a berth in the semi-final of the Hong Kong Open - becoming the first male home player in over 30 years to reach the last four of the PSA World Series event.

Having never progressed beyond the first round of his home event previously Lee followed up his impressive second round win over Ali Farag with a scintillating display inside Hong Kong Sports Centre, playing with precision and control to secure his first ever PSA World Series semi-final berth.

The World No.18 had a packed out crowd behind him as he took on the dangerous Egyptian, who yesterday conquered World Champion Gregory Gaultier, and he lifted the roof off the Hong Kong Sport Centre when he came through in four games, winning 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 in just over an hour.

"To play in the quarters here on the glass court was such a good feeling and to win, and reach the semis here in Hong Kong - that make me very, very happy," said Lee.

"At the end, when I turned around and the crowd were all cheering, it was so good. They were so loud throughout - the atmosphere was amazing and I'm so excited to be in the semi-finals now where I'll pay Ramy Ashour - who's pretty good - but hopefully I can play well.

"The third game was crucial today. I was getting a bit nervous in towards the end because he changed his rhythm so well and it was very difficult to get points off him. It was a 50/50 game so I was very pleased to take it and then the match."

Lee will now face three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour for a place in the final after the maverick Egyptian saw off the challenge of German Simon Rösner while Ryan Cuskelly produced an equally impressive perfomance to defeat former World No.1 James Willstrop 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7 after 74 minutes.

"James beat me here last year so it is good to get a bit of revenge for that," said Cuskelly.

"I started the tournament well with a couple of good wins and I felt like I got off to a string start today as well. I could see he was struggling a bit after the first two games so I just tried to up the pace and not allow him to control the ball - because if you let him do that then he has the ability to just kill you off.

"I got my foot in front and took my chances when they came so I'm happy with that and I'm looking forward to the semis tomorrow now.

"There's a few new faces in the last four so it's there for whoever plays better on the day."

In the women's event Malaysian Nicol David celebrated her 33rd birthday in style as she saw off the threat of French World No.6 Camille Serme 3-1 to reach the semi-finals and keep her title defence alive.

The former World No.1 has been undefeated in Hong Kong over the past decade, not having lost since claiming the 2005 World Championship, and after stuttering in her first two matches against Tesni Evans and Joelle King she looked back to her best and she controlled the match against Serme, winning 11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 11-2.

"I think the last few matches really spurred me on to try and lift my game and up my performances," said David.

"And playing on the show court today, in front of a big crowd, was a great feeling. The crowd here make it special for me and push me in those close moments - every time I'm in Hong Kong the fans really get behind me. They support fellow Asians in all sports and I have my team, Liz, Ronald and Michelle, here with me as well and that is all helping things come together.

"In the first tournament of the season you want things to come together from the off but it's all about adjusting and finding the way to win. I had to get in there and be sharp from the word go because Camille is a top player and I really had to be on my game until the end.

"I managed to do that and I'm happy to be through to another semi-final here."

David will take on World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar for a place in the final after the 18-year-old knocked out World No.2 Laura Massaro in a brutal 5-game thriller.

"To be in the semi-finals here is amazing," said Gohar.

"I played the World Junior Championship just a few weeks ago and to win that again was really pleasing but I worked hard to prepare for this tournament because it's a massive event.

"She kept coming back really strong - it was so hard to finish it off. She was attacking everything and I was having to defend - you can't switch off against her at all.

"It was really hard to stay strong and keep pushing in that fifth game. But I think at the beginning of the match my attacking was sharp and at the end I started to get my drop shot working and it worked."
 

Second Round  

World Champion And World No.1 Crash Out As Seeds Crumble In Hong Kong
                                                                                                     click images for larger view
World Champion Gregory Gaultier and World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy both crashed out of the 2016 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open during a whirlwind day of second round action that saw all but one of the men's seeded players sent packing.

In a repeat of last year's title decider ElShorbagy - who claimed the trophy in both 2014 and 2015 - went up against hard-hitting Cameron Pilley but it was the 33-year-old Australian who enthralled the crowd, saving match ball in the fourth game before sealing an impressive victory 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 14-12, 11-9 after a punishing 91 minutes of action.

"I have a decent record again Mohamed so I know how to play him," said Pilley, who stunned World Champion Gregory Gaultier and then World No.2 Nick Matthew to reach the Hong Kong Open final last year.

"There are days, like the final last year, where players can just completely out play you, so I knew I had to make sure I was sharp from the first point and that I stuck to my game plan today.

"I didn't want him coming on and blasting me off court so I had to stick in there and make it known that I was in for the long haul. Getting that mental side right is huge, and I've managed to do that pretty well over the past year.

"I had a great run here last year and when you have a run like that you try and replicate the same things you did the year before - so I've been trying to eat the same things, get on the same schedule and get those same feeling and vibes. Hopefully I can get back into that routine and leave it all out there tomorrow."

Pilley will now face World No.8 Karim Abdel Gawad, the only remaining seed in the competition, for a place in the semi-finals while 21-year-old Fares Dessouky pulled off a huge upset against World Champion Gregory Gaultier, coming from 2-1 down to knock the 32-year-old out of a PSA World Series event at the second round stage for the first time since 2009.

Dessouki played a relentless attacking game from the off as he tested Gaultier's traditionally impeccable movement and it was a tactic that paid off, as sumptuous winner after sumptuous winner delivered the victory after 83-minutes.

"To beat Greg feels amazing," said Dessouky.

"Most of the times we have played he has beaten me 3-0, but last time, in El Gouna, it was much closer so I knew I could get to him. I trained really hard in the summer for these kind of tough battles and I think I played one of my best matches today.

"The pressure was all on his shoulders so I used that as an advantage. I have worked hard on trying to kill the ball more and improve my short game and it worked. It's great to be in the quarters so I'll try and recover as best I can and come back for another big match."

Dessouki will now take on local favourite Max Lee after the World No.18 played with precision and confidence to outmanoeuvre World No.9 Ali Farag and reach the last eight of his home event for the first time in his career.

"I'm so happy," said Lee. "I was getting very excited towards the end of the fourth game because I wanted to win here in front of my home crowd - to be in the quarters is great."

In the women's draw Egyptian Nour El Tayeb stole the headlines as she kept alive hopes of reaching a second consecutive Hong Kong Open final by defeating best friend and number three seed Raneem El Welily - the former World No.1.

The 23-year-old reached the title-decider on her last appearance in Hong Kong in 2014 and she produced a performance of note to upset the seedings and beat El Welily 3-1 in a replica of their last meeting during the 2015 U.S. Open, when a thrilling encounter saw El Tayeb triumph in five-games albeit at the expense of a shoulder injury that ruled her out for the rest of the season.

"I can't really believe that I have won," said El Tayeb. "It just feels great to be playing pain-free and winning again.

"When I was 8-2 up in the fourth I couldn't really believe I was winning. After the injury and being out for so long, it felt strange to be playing well.

"I think I was maybe putting too much pressure on myself after the surgery so yesterday, after my win against Donna (Urquhart) Ali sat with me and gave me a few words to help me deal with the pressure. Today I went out relaxed and didn't feel nervous at all.

"I knew to play smart and at my best I have to be relaxed. That was easy today because she's my best friend and was bridesmaid at my wedding, so I knew I was going to enjoy the match no matter what."

El Tayeb will now face American danger Amanda Sobhy for a place in the last four while defending champion Nicol David survived a second consecutive scare, this time against New Zealand's Joelle King, to come through in five games.

World No.2 and 2015 runner-up Laura Massaro also kept her hopes of improving on her finish last year with a 3-1 win over Emily Whitlock.

"I think I finished the match well but I was a little tentative at times," said Massaro.

"I feel like mentally I'm still not really firing on all cylinders but I'm progressing each round. I was better than yesterday and if I can move forward again for tomorrow then I should be in a good position for that match."
 
Round 1 Lower Half

Lightening Strikes Twice In Hong Kong As Women's Wildcard Stuns Duncalf
                                                                                                     click images for larger view
Just 24 hours after watching Men’s wildcard Tsz Fung Yip stun World No.5 Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the first round of the Men's 2016 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, Women's wildcard Ho Tze-Lok emulated her compatriot to eliminate former Women’s World No.2 Jenny Duncalf in a five-game thriller inside the Hong Kong Squash Centre today.

Yip showed class and composure as he dictated the play against Rodriguez yesterday and today it was the turn of World No.75 Ho to display similar traits, as she rallied from 2-0 down to pull off a huge upset and send Duncalf out of the tournament at the first hurdle.

Duncalf looked on course for an easy win after taking the first two games 11-1 and 11-4 but the wildcard fought back, slowing the game down to take Duncalf out of her rhythm and it paid off as she took the third 11-7 before saving seven match balls in the fourth to set up an improbable fifth-game victory.

“I’m really, really surprised,” said Ho. “To win is really unexpected and I just hope I can come back and do my best tomorrow and enjoy the opportunity.

“In the first game I just couldn’t see the ball. She was hitting it so hard and fast, the ball was past me before I could even see it.

“I had to change my plan and slow down the pace and play deep and straight. I just keep telling myself to take it one point at a time.”

Ho will now face Frenchwoman Camille Serme in the second round after the 2015 British Open winner staved off a fightback from India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik during a day that was dominated by five-game epics.

32-year-old World No.2 Laura Massaro was forced to call on all of her experience to come through 3-2 over fearless Egyptian 15-year-old Hania El Hammamy while defending champion Nicol David - the Malaysian who hasn't lost here in a decade - flirted with elimination against Welsh player Tesni Evans before eventually coming through 11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-5 after 68-minutes.

"The first round is always tough and we've played some really good matches before so I knew it would't be easy," said David.

"She went in there just playing her shots and making very few mistakes and I had a few lapses as well. She played a great match and I had to work hard to stay consistent in the end and that's what saw me through.

"The first round match is always an adjustment but I'm really pleased to come through in the end. I constructed my game much better in the fifth and didn't really let her in. I put the pressure on and it is very pleasing to come through."

In the Men's tournament Egyptian maverick Ramy Ashour marked his return to PSA World Tour action with an entertaining 3-0 win over Indian number one Saurav Ghosal that saw the three-time World Champion moving without any signs of the hamstring issues that have plagued him over the past few years.

Ashour has missed the lion's share of the past two seasons on Tour and has seen his World Ranking plummet to a decade-low No.12, but he looked to have put his demons to rest as he scampered around court in an encounter that saw both men produce fast-paced, entertaining play before Ashour sealed it 12-10 in the third.

"Of course I'm happy to get off to a winning start," said Ashour afterwards.

"It's good to have a purpose. It's been a tough couple of years and I'm looking forward to understanding myself better and being more consistent.

"I think I'm healthy - at least I am up to now. I just want to have a good relationship with my body an keep it that way. It gives you confidence to come through a match - it lets me know I'm doing something right and it's good to be back."

Ashour will face compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy - the man he limped off court against last time out during April's El Gouna International - in the next round after the 23-year-old came through a tough five-game battle with Switzerland's Nicolas Mueller while World Champion Gregory Gaultier got off to a commanding winning start against compatriot Gregoire Marche.
 

First Round Top Half

Fabulous Tsz Fung Yip Stuns Rodriguez In Hong Kong Opener
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A virtuoso display from tournament wildcard Tsz Fung Yip brought the capacity crowd inside Hong Kong Squash Centre to their feet as the un-fancied World No.50 stunned World No.5 Miguel Angel Rodriguez in an enthralling first round encounter at the 2016 Cathay Pacific Sun Hing Kai Financial Hong Kong Open.

Playing with composure and control from the off the 22-year-old, who announced his potential here in 2015 with an impressive first round victory over Tom Richards, dictated the early exchanges to take the first game 13-11.

Yip continued to attack in the second but it was Rodriguez who responded, upping his game to level and when the Colombian took the third in four minutes for the loss of just two points, it looked like the writing was on the wall for Yip.

But the Hong Kong national champion steeled himself for a huge fightback and stepped up the court, again dictating the play to reel off two consecutive games and inflict a major upset on Rodriguez which will make an early dent on his hopes of qualifying for the season-ending Dubai PSA World Series Finals.

“I’m very, very happy to have won - to beat a top five player is a big moment and a great result,” said Yip.

“I think I played quite well in the match and I have worked very hard in the last two months, so it is really pleasing to see that pay off and have something to show for it.

“I maintained the pace well in the first two but in the third he changed his game plan. To come back in the fourth and not get frustrated was important. I just tried to keep playing my own game.

“Hopefully I can come back and play well again in the next round. If I can perform I will be happy.”

Yip will face Ryan Cuskelly in the second round after the Australian saw off Egyptian qualifier Omar Abdel Meguid 3-0 while there were no first round issues for defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy, as he began his defence with a 3-1 win over Chris Simpson.

Playing with his trademark ferocity ElShorbagy successfully blasted Simpson off court but it was an error-strewn performance that saw the dominant man on Tour admit to mental lapses.

“It feels great to be back,” said ElShorbagy. “We all had a good summer break and it’s exciting to be back and I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens this season.

‘The first match of every tournament is tough but especially so because this one was the first of the season and I was mentally switching on and off.

“You sort of forget the mental aspects of it being a proper match and not a practice match. I just need to get used to it again, but everyone is in the same situation and I think we’ll all get better from the first round.

“All credit to Chris, he played well – a lot better than when we played here two years ago – and made me work hard for it but I’m pleased to come through.”

In the Women’s draw England’s Sarah-Jane Perry came through a brutal, 94-minute encounter with compatriot Victoria Lust in the standout match of a day that saw Egyptians dominate the results board.

Perry was in complete control during the opening stages, opening up a two-game lead courtesy of 11-5 and 11-4 wins, but was dragged into a battle by Lust as the Canadian-based player upped her game in the third.

After pulling one game back Lust then managed to save two match balls in the fourth to force a decider but couldn’t find the killer touch, eventually losing out 10-12 to a relieved Perry.

“I’m very relieved to come through in five, when you go two up and see it levelled you have to be relieved to win in the end,” said Perry.

“But I’m a bit disappointed as well. I think I had two games where I was playing nice and controlled squash early on before she started playing better. I wasn’t playing my game in the third and fourth.

“I had two matches balls in the fourth and very disappointed not to take those but I’m happy to come through in the end and I’ve a day off to recover and get ready for the next match now.”

Perry will now play American number one Amanda Sobhy for a place in the quarter-finals after the former Harvard student got off to a typically rampaging start in complete contrast to her second round opponent.

Dictating the play from the off against local hope Joey Chan, Sobhy played with confidence and moved with a spring in her step as she attacked at will to come through 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 after just 25 minutes while Raneem El Welily spent just three minutes longer on court in a rapid-fire 3-1 contest with Australian Rachael Grinham.

Her Egyptian compatriot Nour El Tayeb, who missed most of the the 2015/16 season due to a shoulder injury, got her campaign off to a winning start with victory over another Australian in the form of Donna Urquhart while Women’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini and Omneya Abdel Kawy completed a quartet of Egyptian winners on day one.

Joshna Chinappa of India and local favourite Annie Au completed the line up of winners on an action-packed opening day.

 

Qualifying

England's Lee Books Hong Kong Main Draw Berth After 98-minute Battle

#PSAWorldTour

England’s Joe Lee emerged triumphant in a physically punishing 98-minute battle with Frenchman Lucas Serme today to come through qualification at the 2016 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open and book a place in the main draw of the opening PSA World Series tournament of the 2016/17 season.

Awaiting Lee – who qualified courtesy of a seesaw 11-1, 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8 win – in the first round is Hong Kong number one and home favourite Max Lee, who will be hoping to improve on his first round exit here to Omar Mosaad last year.

Elsewhere in the Men’s qualification, there was a big win for German Raphael Kandra – overcoming former World Junior champion Diego Elias – while Alan Clyne, Omar Abdel Meguid, Zahed Mohamed, Nicolas Mueller, Nafiizwan Adnan and Gregoire Marche all came through to complete the 32-strong field.

In the Women's tournament, Liu Tsz-Ling, the local player ranked No.29 in the world, came through a gripping five-game battle with Australian Sarah Cardwell, taking the decisive fifth game 12-10 to complete a triumvirate of home hopes in the main draw alongside Annie Au and Joey Chan.

Tsz-Ling will face compatriot Au in the first round in what will be a keenly watched contest, with fellow five-game tie-break qualifiers Tesni Evans and Nadine Shahin facing Nicol David and Joshna Chinappa, respectively. Nicolette Fernandes, Mariam Metwally, Low Wee Wern, Hania El Hammamy and Olivia Blatchford complete the qualifiers.

The first round action gets underway at the Hong Kong Squash Club from noon on Tuesday August 23.

 

Preview

Hong Kong Open Draw Made As 'Road To Dubai' Begins

#RoadToDubai

The draw for the opening tournament of the 2016/17 PSA World Series season - the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open - was released today (July 13) and will see the world's top players descend on the 'Pearl of the Orient' during the last week of August with the hopes of securing the first major title of the new campaign.

One of the longest running major tournaments on the PSA World Tour, having celebrated its 30th anniversary last season, the Hong Kong Open will welcome 112 players from around the world to the Hong Kong Squash Centre on August 23rd when they will be aiming to take the first steps towards a top eight finish on the 2016/17 PSA Road To Dubai Standings and a place at the lucrative season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals.

Only the top eight players on the Men's and Women's 'Road To Dubai Standings' will qualify for the end of season Finals, which offers one of the biggest purses in professional squash, and with a strong start vital to hopes of securing one of those coveted berths the action in Hong Kong is set to be fierce from day one.

Having gone undefeated in Hong Kong for over ten years reigning champion Nicol David will be out to extend her winning streak in what looks set to be a highly competitive Women's field. David will occupy the number four seeding behind top seeded World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, World No.2 Laura Massaro and Raneem El Welily - the player who ended David's nine-year reign as World No.1 last September.

In the Men's draw World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy will be aiming to extend his recent domination of the World Series as he returns to the tournament that first saw him scale to the top of the World Rankings in 2014. The 24-year-old Egyptian won six back-to-back titles last year but will face stiff competition in a field that includes World Champion Gregory Gaultier and the returning Ramy Ashour - the Egyptian maverick who dominated the Tour prior to 2013.

The 2016 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open gets underway with qualification at the Hong Kong Football Club on Saturday August 21st. Main draw action begins on Monday August 23 at the Hong Kong Squash Centre before the action moves to the Hong Kong Parks Sports Centre for the quarter-finals onwards.

Only the top eight players on the ‘PSA Road To Dubai Standings’ at the end of the season will qualify for the PSA Dubai World Series Finals, which will take place in Dubai from June 5-9. Players accumulate ranking points at each World Series tournament during the season, which includes the likes of the Delaware Investments U.S. Open, J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions and Allam British Open.
 

 


 

 

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