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23/11/2008
HONG KONG OPEN
 

Nicol David & Amr Shabana Retain Hong Kong Crowns

 
HONG KONG OPEN 2008
17th-23rd November

Finals

Nicol David & Amr Shabana Retain Hong Kong Crowns

 

Favourites Nicol David and Amr Shabana duly retained their titles in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open Championships - but, fittingly, both players had their toughest challenges of the tournament in the finals on the all-glass court overlooking the waterfront at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza in Hong Kong.

 

Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who is unbeaten since October last year, faced Australian rival Rachael Grinham in the climax of the women's $104,000 WISPA World Tour Platinum event.  But the game's dominant force of the era had to save four game balls in the opening game before converting her second to open up a lead against third seed Grinham.

 

But the 31-year-old Queenslander - in her maiden Hong Kong final - reasserted herself in the second to draw level, after another game which went into extra points.

 

David maintained the upper hand thereafter, however, as the 25-year-old from Penang marched to her 14-12, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8 triumph in 53 minutes to win the title for the third time in a row.

 

The success also extended David's winning streak to 53 matches - and brought her WISPA World Tour title tally to ten this year!

 

In the final of the men's $145,000 PSA Super Series Platinum event, Shabana confidently took the opening game against second-seeded Frenchman Gregory Gaultier and moved on to game ball at 10-7 in the second.  But Gaultier battled to save a total of six game balls before eventually converting his first at 14-13 to draw level.

 

The tables appeared to have turned as the 25-year-old underdog from Aix-en-Provence took the third game to open up a 2/1 lead - and looked on course to avenge his loss to Shabana in the 2007 final.

 

But Shabana came back for the fourth in determined mood and took the game for the loss of just two points - and led throughout the decider to record an impressive 11-7, 13-15, 8-11, 11-2, 11-3 victory in 76 minutes.

 

Like Nicol David, the 29-year-old from Giza was celebrating his third successive Hong Kong title win - and the 22nd PSA Tour title of his career.

 

 


Men's Draw
Qualifying


Women's Draw
Qualifying



Reports
Finals
Semi Finals
Quarter Finals
Second Round
 First Round
 Qualifying



2007 Event Pages
2006 Event Pages


 

click picture for larger view

Amr Shabana and Nicol David Celebrate Their Win





 

 

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open 2008
Men's Draw $145k
 
Round One
Nov 19
Round Two
Nov
20
Quarters
Nov
21
Semis
Nov
22
Final
Nov
23
[1] Amr Shabana (Egy)
 9/11, 11/6, 11/8, 11/5 (40m)
Omar Mosaad (Egy) 
Amr Shabana
11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6 (62m)
[16] Stewart Boswell
Amr Shabana
11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7 (51m)
Karim Darwish
Amr Shabana
7-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4 (45m)
Thierry Lincou
Amr Shabana
11-7, 13-15, 8-11, 11-2, 11-3 (76m)
Gregory Gaultier
[16] Stewart Boswell (Aus)
11/9, 11/7, 11/4 (30m)
Hisham Ashour (Egy) 
[6] Karim Darwish (Egy)
11/9, 11/9, 11/9 (60m)
[Q] Julian Illingworth (Usa) 
Karim Darwish
11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (39m)
 Peter Barker
[11] Peter Barker (Eng)
11/3, 11/6, 12/10 (43m)
[Q] Farhan Mehboob (Pak) 
[4] Ramy Ashour (Egy)
11/4, 11/8, 11/7 (32m)
[Q] Scott Arnold (Aus) 
Ramy Ashour
13-11, 16-14, 11-8 (57m)
Alister Walker
Ramy Ashour
11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 6-2 ret. (43m)
Thierry Lincou
[14] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
 6/11, 13/11, 12/10, 11/8 (69m)
Alister Walker (Eng) 
[8] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
11/7, 11/8, 11/3 (34m)
[Q] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 
Thierry Lincou
11-7, 11-2, 11-7 (55m)
Borja Golan
[15] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
5/11, 11/5, 8/11, 12/10 11/7 (100m)
Borja Golan (Esp) 
Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11/7, 12/10, 6/3 rtd (53m)
[9] Wael El Hindi (Egy)
Cameron Pilley
11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (42m)
 Nick Matthew
Cameron Pilley
11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (39m)
James Willstrop
James Willstrop
11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 11-2 (61m)
Gregory Gaultier
[Q] Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
11/9, 11/8, 11/2 (50m)
[7] Nick Matthew (Eng)
Dick Lau (Hkg)
11/8, 11/8, 7/11, 11/7 (41m)
[10] Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
Ong Beng Hee
11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (38m)
James Willstrop
Mohammed Abbas (Egy)
10/12, 11/6, 11/6, 11/7 (44m)
[3] James Willstrop (Eng)
[Q] Tom Richards (Eng)
8/11, 11/5, 11/9, 11/4 (51m)
[13] Adrian Grant (Eng)
Adrian Grant
11-5, 11-4, 11-4 (29m)
 David Palmer
 David Palmer
11-3, 11-7, 6-3 ret. (26m)
Gregory Gaultier
[Q] Chris Ryder (Eng)
11/8, 11/6, 11/1 (30m)
[5] David Palmer (Aus)
[Q] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
3/11, 11/8, 11/5, 11/8 (56m)
[12] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
Azlan Iskandar
11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (39m)
 Gregory Gaultier
Joey Barrington (Eng)
11/4, 11/4, 11/8 (44m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open 2008
Men's Draw $145k
 
Round One
Nov 19
Round Two
Nov
20
Quarters
Nov
21
Semis
Nov
22
Final
Nov
23
[1] Amr Shabana (Egy)
 9/11, 11/6, 11/8, 11/5 (40m)
Omar Mosaad (Egy) 
Amr Shabana
11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6 (62m)
[16] Stewart Boswell
Amr Shabana
11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7 (51m)
Karim Darwish
Amr Shabana
7-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4 (45m)
Thierry Lincou
Amr Shabana
11-7, 13-15, 8-11, 11-2, 11-3 (76m)
Gregory Gaultier
[16] Stewart Boswell (Aus)
11/9, 11/7, 11/4 (30m)
Hisham Ashour (Egy) 
[6] Karim Darwish (Egy)
11/9, 11/9, 11/9 (60m)
[Q] Julian Illingworth (Usa) 
Karim Darwish
11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (39m)
 Peter Barker
[11] Peter Barker (Eng)
11/3, 11/6, 12/10 (43m)
[Q] Farhan Mehboob (Pak) 
[4] Ramy Ashour (Egy)
11/4, 11/8, 11/7 (32m)
[Q] Scott Arnold (Aus) 
Ramy Ashour
13-11, 16-14, 11-8 (57m)
Alister Walker
Ramy Ashour
11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 6-2 ret. (43m)
Thierry Lincou
[14] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
 6/11, 13/11, 12/10, 11/8 (69m)
Alister Walker (Eng) 
[8] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
11/7, 11/8, 11/3 (34m)
[Q] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 
Thierry Lincou
11-7, 11-2, 11-7 (55m)
Borja Golan
[15] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
5/11, 11/5, 8/11, 12/10 11/7 (100m)
Borja Golan (Esp) 
Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11/7, 12/10, 6/3 rtd (53m)
[9] Wael El Hindi (Egy)
Cameron Pilley
11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (42m)
 Nick Matthew
Cameron Pilley
11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (39m)
James Willstrop
James Willstrop
11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 11-2 (61m)
Gregory Gaultier
[Q] Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
11/9, 11/8, 11/2 (50m)
[7] Nick Matthew (Eng)
Dick Lau (Hkg)
11/8, 11/8, 7/11, 11/7 (41m)
[10] Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
Ong Beng Hee
11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (38m)
James Willstrop
Mohammed Abbas (Egy)
10/12, 11/6, 11/6, 11/7 (44m)
[3] James Willstrop (Eng)
[Q] Tom Richards (Eng)
8/11, 11/5, 11/9, 11/4 (51m)
[13] Adrian Grant (Eng)
Adrian Grant
11-5, 11-4, 11-4 (29m)
 David Palmer
 David Palmer
11-3, 11-7, 6-3 ret. (26m)
Gregory Gaultier
[Q] Chris Ryder (Eng)
11/8, 11/6, 11/1 (30m)
[5] David Palmer (Aus)
[Q] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
3/11, 11/8, 11/5, 11/8 (56m)
[12] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
Azlan Iskandar
11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (39m)
 Gregory Gaultier
Joey Barrington (Eng)
11/4, 11/4, 11/8 (44m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)

18 Nov Qualifying Finals,
 

Tom Richards (ENG) bt Renan Lavigne (FRA) 11-3, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7 (50m)

Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Julien Balbo (FRA) 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5 (67m)

Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Simon Rosner (GER) 11-9, 11-5, 2-11, 11-3 (38m)

Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) bt Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (54m)

Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) bt Yasir Butt (PAK) 12-10, 11-5, 11-4 (34m)

Scott Arnold (AUS) bt Jonathan Kemp (ENG) w/o

Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 10-12, 11-2, 11-7, 11-3 (45m)

Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-6 (43m)


17 Nov Qualifying Round One:

Renan Lavigne (FRA) bt Choy Kit-lun (HKG)              11/3, 11/4, 11/6 (18m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Wong King-yat (HKG)            11/3, 11/2, 12/10 (16m)
Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Wong Hon-fung (HKG)      11/9, 8/11, 11/2, 11/2 (22m)
Julien Balbo (FRA) bt Roger Ngan (HKG)                    13/11, 11/6, 11/3 (30m)

Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Martin Knight (NZL)                 10/12, 11/0, 11/3, 11/5 (53m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Huang Cheng Yao (TPE)        11/8, 11/4, 11/6 (22m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Chu Yat-hei(HKG)             11/3, 11/3, 11/2 (14m)
Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) bt Armando Amante (MAC)   11/3, 11/1, 11/3 (18m)

Yasir Butt (PAK) bt Nelson Chan Kai-chi (HKG)          11/8, 11/5, 6/11, 11/7 (36m)
Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) bt Wong King-ngo (HKG)      11/1, 11/4, 11/1 (17m)
Scott Arnold (AUS) bt Wong Wai-hang (HKG)            4/11, 13/11, 11/3, 11/3 (46m)
Jonathan Kemp (ENG) bt Fung Ngo-long (HKG)         11/7, 11/4, 11/7 (20m)

Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Max Lee (HKG)               11/4, 5/11, 6/11, 11/7, 12/10 (62m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt  Anson Kwong (HKG)            11/8, 11/7, 11/8 (28m)
Mohd. Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Yip Tsz-fung (HKG)  11/3, 11/2, 11/7 (22m)
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt Leo Au (HKG)                    11/5, 11/5, 11/5 (23m)

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open 2008
Women's Draw $77k
 
Round One
Nov 19
Round Two
Nov
20
Quarters
Nov
21
Semis
Nov
22
Final
Nov
23
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11/6, 11/3, 11/6 (22m)
Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl) 
 Nicol David
11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-2 (34m)
 Rebecca Chiu
 Nicol David
11-5, 11-3 ret. (14m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Nicol David
11-8, 11-9, 11-5 (39m)
Natalie Grainger
Nicol David
14-12, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8 (53m)
Rachael Grinham
[13] Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)
11/9, 11/8, 11/8 (27m)
Line Hansen (Den) 
[7] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
11/3, 11/4, 11/6 (17m)
[Q] Elise Ng (Hkg) 
 Omneya Abdel Kawy
11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (25m)
 Samantha Teran
[16] Samantha Teran (Mex)
7/11, 11/8, 11/8, 9/11, 13/11 (62m)
[Q] Donna Urquhart (Aus) 
[4] Natalie Grainger (Usa)
11/9, 11/4, 11/8 (20m)
[Q] Lauren Selby (Eng) 
 Natalie Grainger
13-11, 11-9, 11-8 (26m)
Raneem El Weleily
Natalie Grainger
11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (25m)
Alison Waters
[10] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)
11/6, 11/9, 10/12, 11/7 (35m)
Raneem El Weleily (Egy) 
[6] Alison Waters (Eng)
11/3, 13/11, 11/5 (24m)
[Q] Lisa Camilleri (Aus) 
 Alison Waters
12-10, 4-11, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10 (66m)
 Laura L.-Massaro
[9] Laura L.-Massaro (Eng)
3/11, 11/5, 12/10, 11/9 (37m)
Annie Au (Hkg) 
[Q] Suzie Pierrepont (Eng)
 11/7, 11/9, 11/6 (32m)
[14] Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
 Isabelle Stoehr
10-12, 13-11, 11-1, 11-7 (39m)
 Vanessa Atkinson
Isabelle Stoehr
11-7, 12-10, 11-8 (27m)
Rachael Grinham
Rachael Grinham
11-1, 11-7, 11-6 (24m)
Natalie Grinham
[Q] Emma Beddoes (Eng)
 11/5, 6/11, 12/10, 11/4 (36m)
[8] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
[Q] Joey Chan (Hkg)
14/12, 11/5, 9/11, 13/11 (48m)
[12] Kasey Brown (Aus)
 Kasey Brown
11-6, 11-7, 11-4 (26m)
 Rachael Grinham
Christina Mak (Hkg)
11/6, 11/6, 11/5 (19m)
[3] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
Lauren Briggs (Eng)
11/3, 11/6, 9/11, 11/1 (35m)
[11] Tania Bailey (Eng)
 Tania Bailey
 8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5 (58m)
 Jenny Duncalf
Jenny Duncalf
11-8, 11-9, 4-11, 12-14, 12-10 (69m)
Natalie Grinham
Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
4/11, 11/8, 10/12, 11/5, 12/10 (65m)
[5] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Sharon Wee (Mas)
11/9, 8/11, 11/5, 11/5 (36m)
[15] Madeline Perry (Irl)
 Madeline Perry
11-9, 12-14, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 (55m)
 Natalie Grinham
[Q] Delia Arnold (Mas)
11/5, 11/5, 11/6 (26m)
[2] Natalie Grinham (Ned)

18 Nov Qualifying Finals,
 

Joey Chan (HKG) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-3 (49m)

Elise Ng (HKG) bt Kylie Lindsay (NZL) 11-6, 11-8, 3-11, 6-11, 18-16 (56m)

Lisa Camilleri (AUS) bt Liu Tsz Ling (HKG) 11-5, 11-7, 14-16, 11-2 (32m)

Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Joelle King (NZL) 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (28m)

Suzie Pierrepont (ENG) bt Song Sun-Mi (KOR) 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (26m)

Lauren Selby (ENG) bt Sarah Kippax (ENG) 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 11-3 (33m)

Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-8, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9 (33m)

Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Mami Nishio (JPN) 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 (18m)

 

17 Nov Qualifying Round One:

Latasha Khan (Usa) bt Tong Tsz-Wing (Hkg)              11/4, 11/4, 8/11, 11/9 (37m)
Joey Chan (Hkg) bt Ahn Eun-Chan (Kor)                   11/5, 11/0, 11/2 (17m)
Elise Ng (Hkg) bt Szeto Ka-Hei (Hkg)                        11/4, 11/9, 11/6 (19m)
Kylie Lindsay (Nzl) bt Lee Ka-Yi (Hkg)                        11/4, 11/4, 11/2 (17m)

Lisa Camilleri (Aus) bt Dorothy Ko Sin-Ting (Hkg)       11/1, 11/7, 14/12 (23m)
Liu Tsz-Ling (Hkg) bt Park Eun-Ok (Kor) bt                 11/8, 11/5, 7/11, 11/13, 11/9 (40m)
Delia Arnold (Mas) bt Ho Tsz-Lok (Hkg)                     11/7, 11/1, 11/0 (13m)
Joelle King (Nzl) bt Chan Wing-Hei (Hkg)                   11/8, 11/5, 11/4 (15m)

Song Sun-Mi (Kor) bt Chu Ka-Hei (Hkg)                     11/0, 11/4, 11/6 (23m)
Suzie Pierrepont (Eng) bt Karman Siu (Hkg)               11/9, 11/1, 11/4 (17m)
Lauren Selby (Eng) bt Ho Ka-Pp (Hkg)                       12/10, 11/2, 11/4 (21m)
Sarah Kippax (Eng) bt Emma Pike (Aus)                    11/5, 11/5, 11/3 (13m)

Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt Victoria Lust (Eng)                  11/13, 11/8, 11/8, 11/7 (35m)
Emma Beddoes (Eng) bt Karla Chong (Hkg)               11/6, 11/4, 11/3 (19m)
Mami Nishio (Jpn) bt Carmen Lee (Hkg)                     11/7, 11/7, 11/2 (15m)
Donna Urguhart (Aus) bt Leung Shin-Nga (Hkg)          11/5, 11/8, 11/8 (21m)

 

Reports
 

Semi Finals

Shabana & David In Sight Of Hong Kong Hat-Tricks

 

Top seeds Amr Shabana and Nicol David are both now just one match away from third successive title victories in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open Championships after impressive semi-final wins on an all-glass court at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza in Hong Kong.

 

In the opening semi-final of the men’s $145,000 PSA Super Series Platinum event, Shabana recovered from a game down to overcome Tour rival Thierry Lincou 7-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4 in 45 minutes.  The world number one from Egypt is now in the 33rd PSA Tour final of his career and his sixth this year.

 

Later, second-seeded Frenchman Gregory Gaultier ended a two-match winning Tour run by Englishman James Willstrop when he beat the third seed 11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 11-2 in 61 minutes.

 

The win takes the 25-year-old from Aix-en-Provence into his 29th Tour final - and a repeat of last year's final clash with Shabana.

 

There was a surprise in the second semi-final in the women's $104,000 WISPA World Tour Platinum event when Australia's third seed Rachael Grinham dismissed her second-seeded younger sister Natalie Grinham 11-1, 11-7, 11-6 in just 24 minutes to make the Hong Kong final for the first time in her fourth attempt.

 

Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia looking for her tenth Tour title this year, took 39 minutes to overhaul Natalie Grainger, the fourth seed from the USA, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5.

 

The win takes David into the 48th WISPA final of her career.


Quarter Finals

World Champions In Injury-Blighted Quarter-Finals In Hong Kong

 

Recently-crowned world squash champions Ramy Ashour and Nicol David were both involved in quarter-final matches in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open Championships in Hong Kong which were cut short by injury.

 

Egyptian Ramy Ashour, fourth seed in the men’s $145,000 PSA Super Series Platinum event, faced former champion Thierry Lincou, the No8 seed from France.  Ashour drew level after the Frenchman took the opening game, but Lincou fought back to take the fourth and opened up a four-point lead in the fourth when Ashour conceded the match at 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 6-2 (ret.) - apparently suffering with the recurrence of a recent hamstring injury.

 

Lincou, in the semi-final for the second year in a row, will now face Ashour's senior compatriot Amr Shabana, the world number one who is expected to win the title for the third year in a row.

 

Shabana took on Karim Darwish, his in-form fellow Egyptian who won the Qatar Classic last month and rose to a career-high world No2 this month.  In a match worthy of the final, Shabana beat the sixth seed 11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7 to avenge his defeat in the Doha climax.

 

The other men's semi will feature England's James Willstrop and Frenchman Gregory Gaultier.  Willstrop, the third seed who has been suffering with an ankle injury for the past few months, ended Cameron Pilley's giant-killing run - beating the unseeded Australian 11-5, 11-8, 11-6.

 

Gaultier, runner-up twelve months ago, also ousted an Australian.  The second seed beat a less-than-full-strength David Palmer when the fifth seed retired injured with the score at 11-3, 11-7, 6-3.

 

In the second quarter-final in the women's $104,000 WISPA World Tour Platinum event, Malaysian favourite Nicol David took just 14 minutes to claim her place in the last four when Egypt's Omneya Abdel Kawy conceded the match after just two games.

 

Defending champion David, whose unbeaten Tour record now stands at 51 matches since October 2007, will now face USA's fourth seed Natalie Grainger, who despatched England's Alison Waters, the sixth seed, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5.

 

The other semi-final will provide the second meeting between the Australian-born Grinham sisters in three weeks.  Third seed Rachael Grinham required just 27 minutes to overcome surprise French opponent Isabelle Stoehr, the 14th seed, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8.

 

But second seed Natalie Grinham, the world No2 now representing Netherlands, battled for 69 minutes to see off fifth-seeded Englishwoman Jenny Duncalf 11-8, 11-9, 4-11, 12-14, 12-10.


Second Round

 

Pilley Powers Into Maiden Super Series Quarters In Hong Kong

 

Rising Australian Cameron Pilley pulled off his second successive upset in today’s (Thursday) second round of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open Squash Championships when he defeated England’s seventh seed Nick Matthew in straight games to reach the last eight of the men’s $145,000 PSA Super Series Platinum event in Hong Kong.

 

The shock 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 victory – which avenges his loss to the higher-ranked Yorkshireman in September’s Dutch Open final – takes Pilley into the first Super Series quarter-final of his career.

 

The 26-year-old world No20 from New South Wales now faces a further Englishman, after third seed James Willstrop despatched Malaysia’s tenth seed Ong Beng Hee 11-8, 11-7, 11-6.

 

Favourite Amr Shabana was stretched for more than an hour before overcoming Australia’s 16th seed Stewart Boswell 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6 in 62 minutes to earn his place in the last eight.  The 29-year-old from Giza is joined in the quarter-finals by fellow Egyptians Karim Darwish and Ramy Ashour – both of whom beat Englishmen.  Shabana takes on Darwish for a place in the semi-finals.

 

In the women’s $104,000 WISPA World Tour Platinum event, Malaysian favourite Nicol David extended her unbroken Tour run to 50 matches after beating Asian rival Rebecca Chiu.  The world number one was taken to four games by the Hong Kong number one before winning 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-2 in 34 minutes.

 

Later in the day, France’s Isabelle Stoehr earned a surprise place in the last eight when she beat former world champion Vanessa Atkinson, the No8 seed from the Netherlands.  Atkinson took the first game and narrowly missed out in the second.  But Stoehr, the 14th seed, piled on the pressure to clinch her 10-12, 13-11, 11-1, 11-7 victory – and a meeting with Australia’s third seed Rachael Grinham in the quarter-finals.
 

First Round

Nicol David Poised To Make Half-Century

 

Malaysian favourite Nicol David is one match away from extending her unbroken WISPA World Tour run to 50 matches after beating New Zealand’s Jaclyn Hawkes in today’s (Wednesday) first round of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open Squash Championships in Hong Kong.

 

The world’s leading players – led by world number ones David and Amr Shabana - are competing in one of the biggest joint men’s and women’s events of the year, celebrating its 23rd consecutive year of sponsorship by Cathay Pacific.

 

Defending champion Nicol David took just 22 minutes to despatch Hawkes 11-8, 11-3, 11-6 in the $104,000 WISPA Platinum event - and will now face Asian rival Rebecca Chiu in a bid to win her 50th match in a row en-route to her tenth Tour title triumph this year.

 

Local favourite Chiu, the 13th seed, defeated Denmark’s Line Hansen 11-9, 11-8, 11-8.

 

Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily pulled off the only upset on the opening day of women’s action.  The 19-year-old from Alexandria defeated Shelley Kitchen, the No10 seed from New Zealand, 11-6, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7 in 31 minutes and will now face USA’s fourth seed Natalie Grainger for a place in the quarter-finals.

 

After a troubled year following knee surgery in April, Tania Bailey made a welcome return to Tour action with an 11-3, 11-6, 9-11, 11-1 victory over English compatriot Lauren Briggs.  The 29-year-old 11th seed from Lincolnshire, who has dropped from five to 17 in the world rankings since July, will now battle with England team-mate Jenny Duncalf, the fifth seed.

 

Australian Cameron Pilley pulled off biggest upset in the men’s $145,000 PSA Super Series Platinum event.  The 26-year-old from New South Wales beat Wael El Hindi when the ninth seed from Egypt retired injured with the score at 11-7, 12-10, 6-3 ret. to the Australian.

 

Unseeded Englishman Alister Walker celebrated his second win in three years over higher-ranked Finn Olli Tuominen when he beat the 14th seed 6-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-8.  The Botswana-born 26-year-old from Leeds will now meet Ramy Ashour, after the world champion from Egypt beat Australian qualifier Scott Arnold 11-4, 11-8, 11-7.

 

But the longest encounter of the day saw Spaniard Borja Golan continue the form which saw him win the Santiago Open earlier this month.  The unseeded 25-year-old battled for 100 minutes – twice coming back from behind – before beating Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, the 15th seed, 5-11, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7


Qualifying
Shabana & David In Bids For Hong Kong Hat-Tricks

 

Amr Shabana and Nicol David, from Egypt and Malaysia, respectively, are both seeded to win their third successive titles in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open Squash Championships in Hong Kong, where the long-established Tour event celebrates its 23rd consecutive year of sponsorship by the country’s world-renowned airline.

 

Shabana will make his 11th successive appearance in the $145,000 PSA Super Series Platinum event and will face compatriot Omar Mosaad in tomorrow’s (Wednesday) first round en-route to an anticipated place in the final on Sunday.

 

Two former men’s champions are also in the men’s draw – France’s 2004 winner Thierry Lincou is seeded to reach the quarter-finals for the fifth time, and David Palmer, the fifth seed from Australia, is looking for his sixth successive semi-final berth since winning the trophy in 2001.

 

Lincou’s first round opponent is India’s Saurav Ghosal – one of three Asians to make it through today’s qualifying finals – while Palmer takes on Chris Ryder, one of two Englishmen to qualify.

 

Nicol David is only making her fourth appearance in the women’s $104,000 WISPA World Tour Platinum championship.  With 11 successive Tour titles under her belt since November 2007, David has notched up 48 WISPA matches without defeat – and will be looking to chalk up her half-century in the second round.  The 25-year-old from Penang faces New Zealand’s Jaclyn Hawkes in the opening round.

 

But David will face stiff opposition from a number of quarters – led by the Australian-born sisters Rachael and Natalie Grinham, seeded two and three, respectively, and Natalie Grainger, the fourth seed from the USA.

 

Hong Kong celebrated two notable victories in the women’s qualifying finals when Joey Chan beat top qualifying seed Latasha Khan 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-3, and Elise Ng battled to a 56-minute 11-6, 11-8, 3-11, 6-11, 18-16 win over New Zealander Kylie Lindsay.

 

Chan and Ng join Annie Au, Christina Mak and 13th seed Rebecca Chiu to provide the biggest ever local main draw entry in the history of the women’s event.