Results, Reports and Photos from Hong Kong                     En Français
Sun 5th The Final:
[3] Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt [8] Nick Matthew (ENG)   11/4, 11/8, 11/10 (3-1) (47m)
Lincou claims his biggest win
Thierry Lincou
, the fine 28 year old Frenchman today captured what he described “the best win of my career”, after disposing of a rather nervous Nick Matthew.
Matthew graciously paid tribute to Lincou saying “His lengths were a couple of inches tighter to the back than anyone I’ve played all week. Many times, I had to stretch to reach the shots”.
Full report from  Alex Wan

Hong Kong Afterthoughts


李田福  Thierry Lincou in Chinese

Lincou squares the Circle
Press release from Hong Kong

What a beautiful Tournament
Yes, it was a beautiful tournament, the 2004 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open was.
Well, I’m bound to say that, aren’t I? A fantastic win for a great young  French athlete, who worked very very hard at his craft. And a fantastic journey for another young man, Nick Matthew, another hard worker.
We would like to thank all the people that have helped us to cover this magnificent 2004 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open ...
Tournament roundup from Framboise

Sat 4th Semi-Finals:
[8] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [4] David Palmer (AUS)  11/6, 11/10 (3-1), 9/11, 11/9 (59m)
[3] Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt [2] Lee Beachill (Eng)  11/10 (3-1), 11/6, 3/11, 11/6 (48m)  
New Cathay Champion Tomorrow

Tomorrow, there will be a new champion in the tournament as David Palmer was taken out by Nick Matthew in 4 thrilling games and Thierry Lincou beat second seed Lee Beachill.
Full report from  Alex Wan
Hong Kong:
New level for Matthew

England's eighth seeded Nick Matthew today took his professional squash career to a new level beating Australia's David Palmer, the reigning British Open Champion, former World Open Champion and World No1 in the semi-finals.
Press release from Hong Kong Squash
Quote of the Day:
"I have been training hard as part of the England squad to develop more speed and explosiveness for the new 11 point format in play on the PSA World Tour from now on.
I played the English Open early in August and was badly beaten by Simon Parke in the early rounds, so we have been concentrating on movement and speed."
Nick Matthew

Photo of the Day:
Running court repairs ...

Fri 3rd: Quarter-Finals:
[8] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [16] Adrian Grant (ENG)  7/11,  11/5, 11.8, 11/10 (3-1) (56m)
[4] David Palmer (AUS) bt [6] Jonathon Power (CAN)  11/9, 8/11, 11/5, 11/10 (5-3) (55m)
[3] Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt [7] Amr Shabana (Egy)  11/5, 6/11, 11/1, 11/6 (33m)
[2] Lee Beachill (Eng) bt [5] John White (Sco)   9/11, 8/11, 11/10 (2-0), 11/10 (3-1), 11-5 (67m)
Scoring an unqualified success
I doubt if anyone at the Cathay Pacific this week is not convinced about the 11 points scoring. Make no mistake, it is an unqualified success, producing attacking squash of the highest quality ...

The first match of the night between two established stars, Lee Beachill and John White, produced a wonderful match with all the right ingredients.

Full report from Malcolm Willstrop

Beachill back from the brink
After having the world number 1 player ejected yesterday, the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open nearly lost the world number 2 today.

“I’m beginning to be able to read his game more and more as I play with him”, said a very satisfied David Palmer after his win over Jonathon Power.

Asked to comment on the refereeing of the match, both agreed it was awful.

Full report from  Alex Wan

Quote of the Day:
"I had a few bad calls in that match that I might normally have just absorbed under the old 15 point scoring system. But a bad call in this game can be the difference between winning and losing. I had calls tonight that could have cost me the match."
David Palmer
Photo of
the Day:

Thu 2nd: Round Two, the Last 16:     
bt [1] Peter Nicol (ENG)  9/11, 11/5, 11/10 (2-0), 8/11, 11/6 (63m)
[8] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [10] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)  11/7, 6/11, 8/11, 11/3, 11/7 (83m)
[4] David Palmer (AUS) bt [Q] Hisham Ashour (EGY)  10/11 (0-2), 11/4, 11/5, 11/9 (30m)
[6] Jonathon Power (CAN) bt [11] Joseph Kneipp (AUS) 11/2, 11/9, 11/10 (8-6) 55m)

[7] Amr Shabana (Egy) bt [13] James Willstrop  5/11, 4/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/8 (49m)
[3] Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt Paul Price (Aus)  11/9, 11/7, 11/6 (32m)
[5] John White (Sco) bt Ong Beng Hee (Mas)  11/4, 11/5, 10/11 (1-3), 11/8 (49m)
[2] Lee Beachill (Eng) bt [9] Karim Darwish (Egy)  11/9, 10/11 (0-2), 11/7, 11/6 (43m)
Shock of all shocks ...


As predicted, Nick Matthew and Gregory Gaultier produced a purposeful game, with Matthew emerging a deserved winner in the fifth.

Meanwhile the shock of all shocks, as world no 1 Peter Nicol found himself 2-1 down to fellow countryman Adrian Grant, and could not recover.

Full report from Malcolm Willstrop

Nicol upset as Refs steal the show

Adrian Grant, the 23 year old left hander today scored his biggest ever career win when he upstaged world number 1 Peter Nicol in a thrilling match lasting 83 minutes.
On a personal note, it’s just a shame to see such bad refereeing at such a big prestigious event. I was told assessments were being done here, but why such a major event?

Full report from Alex Wan

No way back for Nicol

Quote of the Day:
"It was certainly a bad day at the office. I was moving well and striking the ball well but I could not get up on my toes and attack the ball the way I should. I think I have lost a little of the confidence in my game that is usually automatic."
Peter Nicol
Wed 1st: Round One, Bottom Half:
[13] James Willstrop (Eng) bt Renan Lavigne (Fra)  11/4, 11.10 (2-0), 11/5 (27m)
[7] Amr Shabana (Egy) bt [Q] Simon Parke (Eng)  11/9, 11/8, 11/3 (38m)
Paul Price (Aus) bt [12] Anthony Ricketts (Aus)  11/4 10/11 (0-2), 11/8, 9/11, 11/5 (58m)
[3] Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt [Q] Jonathan Kemp (Eng) 11/4, 11/7, 11/2 (22m)
Ong Beng Hee (Mas) bt [15] Mohammed Abbas (Egy)  6/11, 11/8, 11/7, 4/11, 11/8 (56m)
[5] John White (Sco) bt [Q] Peter Barker (Eng)  11/8, 11/2, 5/11, 11/8 (35m)
[9] Karim Darwish (Egy) bt Mansoor Zaman (Pak)  11/8, 11/5, 11/4 (19m)
[2] Lee Beachill (Eng) bt Mark Chaloner (Eng)  11/8, 11/6, 11/5 (28m)
No trouble for the top men


John White
and James Willstrop kicked off the second phase of the first round of the Cathay Pacific and although White lost the third game to qualifier Peter Barker, he was not seriously troubled to win 3/1. Nor was Willstrop, even though he fell well behind in the second to Renan Lavigne. He recovered it stylishly and won the other two games with ease.
Full report from Malcolm Willstrop


Ricketts falls to Price

Paul Price
, the 28 year old Australian, today created the biggest upset so far at the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open when he took out compatriot Anthony Ricketts.
In a game lasting 58 minutes of solid action, Price played some brilliant attacking squash to clinch a spot in the second round.

Full report from Alex Wan

Quote of the Day:
"I feel I am into the senior tour now. I was looking on every senior success or failure as part of the learning process. Even the win in Canary Wharf I thought was a lesson in how to adapt and take advantage of different conditions. But now I think I am here because I should be and I am telling myself every time I go on court knowing that I can beat these guys and I can succeed."
James Willstrop

Photo of the Day:

Watch that racket !!!


Tue 31st: Round One, Top Half:
[1] Peter Nicol (ENG) bt Wai Hang Wong (HKG)   11/4, 11/8,  8/11, 11/5 (38m)
[16] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt [Q] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)    8/11,  8/11, 11/6, 11/8, 11/8 (53m)
[8] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Dan Jenson (AUS)   11/8, 11/9, 11/10 (2-0) (49m)
[10] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Bradley Ball (ENG)   11/10 (3-1), 11/8, 11/3 (39m)
[4] David Palmer (AUS) bt [Q] Wael El Hindi (EGY)  11/8, 11/7, 8/11, 10/11 (0-2), 11/6 (53m)
[Q] Hisham Ashour (EGY) bt [14] Omar Elborolossy (EGY)    9/11, 11/3, 11/6, 9/11, 11/3 (39m)
[6] Jonathon Power (CAN) bt [Q] Phillip Barker (ENG)  11/3, 11/10 (0-2), 11/8, 11/5 (34m)
[11] Joseph Kneipp (AUS) bt Graham Ryding (CAN)    11/8, 5/11, 7/11, 11/8, 11/7 (50m)

Tough task
for the Qualifiers

Peter Nicol
, the world no one, began his quest for his fourth Cathay Pacific title with a 3-1 win over local wildcard Wong Wai Hang, which was designed to keep the crowd entertained and did so. Nicol was never out of cruise control and with a refreshing Summer behind him, may still be the man to beat.
Full report from Malcolm Willstrop

Top seeds

safely through

The top 4 seeds in the upper half of the main draw made it through the first round of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Squash Open 2004. At the bottom of the upper half, Jonathan Power will play Joseph Kneipp on Thursday. Playing with a hip injury, Power struggled against Englishman Phillip Barker.
Full report from Alex Wan

Quote of the Day:

"I think the 11 point scoring is a move in the right direction. Personally, I think we should have gone to nine points to create a common feel to the game at all levels. But I am sure that this takes us forward from the 15 point game we have been playing on the professional circuit for the past few years."  
Peter Nicol

Photo of the Day:

France's World number three Thierry Lincou is always willing to offer his services to help promote the game, and today he conducted a coaching clinic, with 150 Hong Kong schoolchildren queuing up for a little court time and a signature from the great man. Well, he is half-Chinese, after all!

Mon 30th: Qualifying
History as PSA moves to 11

When the first of the qualifying matches began at 1.30pm Hong Kong time, history was being made as the PSA tour adopted 11 points a game scoring.

Olli Tuominen, the no 1 qualifier, faced Bradley Ball on Centre Court and the Englishman's deserved win was no surprise to those of us who know how well he plays English National League scoring to nine.

Alex Wan:
The English Invasion

Qualifying matches took place on 2 courts at the Hong Kong Squash Centre located right smack in the Central Business District. Having not been around on the first qualifying round, I joined the action on the qualifying finals today. The new 11-PAR scoring is something new that I was looking forward to, which didn’t disappoint. There was more attacking from the players and once one reaches 7, the intensity of the match somewhat changes.

Top seeds lie in wait for qualifiers

Quote of the Day:

"For the spectators it will bring a more explosive and sustained excitement to the game. For the players, especially those maturing like myself, it will remove those dead meaningless rallies that spoiled the middles of so many matches under both the traditional nine point system and the PAR 15 point system.

"For me personally the change has the added advantage of securing my record of having always called one point in tiebreaks for all time. I have called one point tiebreaks for 15 years and now nobody can ever outdo me."

Jonathon Power

Qualifying Finals:
Bradley Ball (ENG) bt Raj Nanda (AUS)  11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (34m)
Peter Barker (ENG) bt Alister Walker (ENG)  9-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-5, 11-8 (71m)
Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt Jan Koukal (CZE)  11-7, 11-8, 11-5 (27m)
Phillip Barker (ENG) bt Arshad Iqbal Burki (PAK)  11-4, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4 (47m)
Simon Parke (ENG) bt Joey Barrington (ENG)  11-10 (4-2), 11-2, 11-10 (2-0) (46m)
Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt Gavin Jones (WAL) 11-8,  11-3, 11-1 (25m)
Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS)  11-10 (2-0), 4-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-10( 4-2) (62m)
Jonathan Kemp (ENG) bt Davide Bianchetti (ITA)  11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (27m)