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20/11/2011
HONG KONG OPEN (MEN) 2011
 

James Willstrop Wins Hong Kong Open Crown

Men's Draw
Hong Kong Open 2011
Piazza, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Kowloon $145k
 
Round One
15/16 Nov
Round Two
17 Nov
Quarters
18 Nov
Semis
19 Nov
Final
20 Nov
[1] Nick Matthew (Eng)
11/6, 11/4, 11/7 (41m)
[Q] Martin Knight (Nzl)
Nick Matthew
12-10, 11-7, 11-8 (65m)
Daryl Selby
Nick Matthew
7-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-5 (90m)
Gregory Gaultier

Gregory Gaultier
11/9, 11/9, 11/1 (67m)
James Willstrop

James Willstrop
11/5, 11/9, 11/4 (53m)
Karim Darwish
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
9/11, 8/11, 11/7, 11/4, 11/3 (66m)
Daryl Selby (Eng)
Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
11/8, 11/4, 11/8 (35m)
Omar Mosaad (Egy)
Omar Mosaad
11-6, 4-11, 11-4, 11-6 (68m)
Gregory Gaultier
Julian Illingworth (Usa)
11/6, 11/6, 9/11, 11/3 (65m)
[5] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
[6] Peter Barker (Eng)
 7/11, 12/10, 9/11, 11/5, 11/9 (87m)
Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
Peter Barker
11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (47m)
 Cameron Pilley
Peter Barker
11-3, 11-8, 3-0 ret. (27m)
James Willstrop
Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11/2, 11/8, 3/11, 11/6 (44m)
Max Lee (Hkg)
Olli Tuominen (Fin)
 11/7, 11/9, 11/5 (45m)
[Q] Borja Golan (Esp)
Olli Tuominen
11-3, 11-8, 11-6 (30m)
James Willstrop
Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
 13/11, 11/6, 11/5 (24m)
[3] James Willstrop (Eng)
[4] Amr Shabana (Egy)
11-9, 11-9, 3-11, 11-1 (40m)
[Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)r
Amr Shabana
11-5, 11-7, 12-10 (31m)
Hisham Ashour
Amr Shabana
11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (40m)
Azlan Iskandar
Azlan Iskandar
11/3, 11/8, 11/2 (37m)
Karim Darwish
Hisham Ashour (Egy)
11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9 (47m)
Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
11-4, 11-7, 11-1 (33m)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (Fra)r
Azlan Iskandar
6-11, 11-6, 14-12, 11-7 (56m)
Mohamed El Shorbagy
[Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)
11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (34m)
[7] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
[8] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
11-3, 11-9, 11-5 (45m)
Stewart Boswell (Aus)
Stewart Boswell
11-4, 11-9, 11-0 (42m)
Tom Richards
Stewart Boswell
11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (39m)
Karim Darwish
Tom Richards (Eng)
8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 2-11, 12-10 (77m)
[Q] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
15-17, 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (48m)
[Q] Tarek Momen (Egy)
Tarek Momen
11-3, 11-2, 5-11, 11-7 (41m)
Karim Darwish
[Q] Ivan Yuen (Mas)
11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (27m)
[2] Karim Darwish (Egy)

James Willstrop Wins Hong Kong Open Crown

James Willstrop ended the five-year Egyptian stranglehold on the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open title when he beat Karim Darwish in straight games in today's final of the seventh PSA World Series squash event of the year to become the first English winner of the prestigious trophy since Peter Nicol in 2002.

The 28-year-old third seed from Leeds was in awesome form this week - reaching the final without dropping a game, then despatching second seed Darwish 11-5, 11-9, 11-4 in 53 minutes on an all-glass court at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre to clinch his first PSA Tour title since January 2010 and end a run of five successive runner-up finishes over the period.

"Every player who wins a World Series event knows how difficult it is," said the jubilant champion minutes after his success in his maiden appearance in the event's final at his sixth attempt.

"It takes a lot of time to put it together in a week like this. If I was going to win one World Series event, the World Open would be nice - but this comes a close second.

"This is as special as it gets," added the Yorkshireman.

Willstrop acknowledged that he and Darwish had played each other "thousands of times" since their earliest meeting as juniors in 1991. Their PSA Tour head-to-head record on the eve of the final showed the Englishman 11-5 ahead - with a string of seven successive wins over the past five years.

But it was Darwish who triumphed in their most recent clash - in August's World Team Championship final decider in Germany, where Egypt pipped England to the title.

"We know each other's games so well now - but people change their games over the years and you can't expect the same player every time," explained Willstrop.

The triumph marks the 13th - but biggest - Tour title of Willstrop's career, and his fifth World Series crown.

Willstrop's success also takes him up to third place in the latest 2011 Dunlop PSA World Series Standings. Compatriot Nick Matthew, a quarter-final casualty in Hong Kong, heads the list, with Egypt's Ramy Ashour, unable to compete in the event due to injury, in second place. Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar, who reached the semi-finals unseeded, moves into the top eight for the first time.
 

Willstrop & Darwish Celebrate First Hong Kong Final

With both players making the final for the first time, England's James Willstrop and Egypt's Karim Darwish will contest Sunday's climax of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open after surviving today's semi-finals of the seventh PSA World Series squash event of the year on an all-glass court at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in straight games.

Willstrop, the world No3 from Leeds, became the first Englishman to reach the final of the long-established Tour event for seven years following an emphatic 11-9, 11-9, 11-1 victory over fifth seed Gregory Gaultier - a defeat which denied the Frenchman his fifth successive final appearance.

The win ended Gaultier's four-match unbeaten run over the Yorkshireman stretching back more than a year.

Both players reached the semi in contrasting styles - Gaultier in a 90-minute marathon upset over England's world number one and world champion Nick Matthew, and Willstrop in a 27-minute clash with Peter Barker in which his fellow countryman retired injured early in the third game.

"Today, the conditions suited me better," Willstrop said afterwards. "He also had a very hard match yesterday that took a lot out of him.

"I've got to the semis a few times - but today, getting to the final, and trying to put my name alongside the prestigious names on that trophy, it's pretty special," added the 28-year-old, now in his 26th PSA World Tour final.

Darwish, the world No6 from Cairo, took just 37 minutes to end Mohd Azlan Iskandar's run, beating the unseeded Malaysian 11-3, 11-8, 11-2 to celebrate his first semi-final win at his third attempt in a row.

"Like I said yesterday, at this stage of the competition, I really wanted to spend as little time on there as possible, so a 3/0 is perfect for me," said the delighted second seed.

"But it was not easy, Azlan is a tough competitor even if he wasn't at his best today," added the 30-year-old former world number one who will be marking his 36th Tour final appearance.

 

Gaultier Avenges Matthew Defeat In Hong Kong

Less than two weeks after losing to Nick Matthew in the World Open final in Rotterdam, Frenchman Gregory Gaultier earned his revenge in Hong Kong today by upsetting the world number one from England in a 90-minute marathon in the quarter-finals of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, the seventh PSA World Series squash event of the year.

While Gaultier was 9-7 ahead in their Tour career head-to-head tally, Matthew had won their three most recent encounters - and looked in commanding form today as he took the opening game.

The fifth seed came back to take the second but again Matthew seemed to have the upper-hand as he built up a 9-4 lead in the third.

But the dynamic of the match changed at that point as the Frenchman mounted a massive comeback to take the game after a tie-break - before romping ahead in the fourth and ultimately closing out the match 7-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-5.

"I think we were both tired today, everybody knows that we were playing in the final of the Worlds last week, and that I lost," Gaultier said afterwards. "So today, I was dying for revenge.

"In the third, it was a toss of a coin! I was 9-4 down, and I thought, well, win or lose, I'm just going to make him work for it. And point by point, I dug in. At 7-8, 8-9, I realised that I could actually win that game. And of course, when I did, it was a great advantage for me, 2/1 up," continued the 28-year-old from Aix-en-Provence - now just one match away from his fifth final appearance in a row.

The world No5 will now play life-long European rival James Willstrop, the world No3 from England who was gifted his place in the semi-finals when his England team-mate opponent Peter Barker was forced to withdraw with an injury early in the third game.

"I really feel for him," said Willstrop after his 27-minute encounter. "But you can't take any risks when it comes to the knee and you can't play squash if you can't run."

Gaultier is aware of the advantage Willstrop has over him after their contrasting quarter-final clashes: "I've watched James play today, he looks sharp. So now, no celebration, just my normal routine, to get ready for tomorrow. I know James didn't have a long match as Peter got injured, so it will be a bit of a challenge. But then again, I love challenges!"

There was a further significant upset in the other half of the draw when Malaysia's Mohd Azlan Iskandar became the only unseeded player to make the semi-finals after beating Egypt's fourth seed and four-time Hong Kong Open champion Amr Shabana 11-9, 11-5, 11-6.

The 29-year-old from Kuala Lumpur has enjoyed a fine run of form in Hong Kong, which began with a four-game win over Egypt's seventh seed Mohamed El Shorbagy. Iskandar is now in his first PSA World Series semi-final of the year - and certain to finish in the top eight of the 2011 World Series standings after the completion of the event.

"I don't think Shabana was at his best today, but I'll take it," said the delighted winner. "My first semi in Hong Kong!"

Iskandar will face Karim Darwish, the No2 seed from Egypt who ended unseeded Australian Stewart Boswell's run 11-5, 11-4, 11-6.

"Overall, happy with my performance," said the 30-year-old from Cairo, now in his third successive Hong Kong semi-final. "Last time I played Azlan was in the US Open, I was not 100% at my best, but normally, we have great matches. He is a good mate and a fair player. I'm looking forward to it."

 

Iskandar Shakes Off Shorbagy In Hong Kong

Malaysia's Mohd Azlan Iskandar produced the upset of the day in today's second round of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open when he downed in-form Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy, the No7 seed, to secure an unexpected place in the quarter-finals of the seventh PSA World Series squash event of the year.

El Shorbagy, the 20-year-old world No8 from Alexandria, arrived in Hong Kong fresh from title success in last week's PSA International 50 Macau Open. The Egyptian, who went into the match 3/0 ahead in his head-to-head tally with Iskandar, took the opening game.

But the 29-year-old Malaysian, the world No13 from Kuala Lumpur, recovered to win 6-11, 11-6, 14-12, 11-7 and claim an impressive first win over his higher-ranked opponent in 56 minutes.

And there will be a surprise Australian name in the last eight line-up after unseeded Stewart Boswell beat England's Tom Richards 11-4, 11-9, 11-0 in 42 minutes.

The 33-year-old former world No4 from Canberra is enjoying some of the best form of his recent career: After previously making the last eight of a PSA World Series event in January 2008, Boswell burst through to the semi-finals of last month's Qatar Classic - and now, after making his Hong Kong breakthrough by beating No8 seed Thierry Lincou in the opening round, is through to his second successive quarter-final.

"When I looked at the draw, I didn't think I was that lucky, but it turned out to be good after all," Boswell said afterwards. "I think I was again a bit lucky, like I was in Qatar. But then, yet again, I still had to play my best squash to win today."

In Lincou's unexpected absence, French interest in the quarter-finals will be led by fifth seed Gregory Gaultier, the recent Qatar Classic champion who was stretched to four games before overcoming Egypt's Omar Mosaad 11-6, 4-11, 11-4, 11-6.

The day otherwise belonged to Englishmen and Egyptians - with England team-mates Nick Matthew, Peter Barker and James Willstrop coming through in the top half of the draw, and Cairo compatriots Amr Shabana and Karim Darwish prevailing in the other half.

Barker continues to be the most consistent performer in the 2011 PSA World Series by claiming his seventh quarter-final berth in a row. In a repeat of his victory over Cameron Pilley in the World Open earlier in the month, the London left-hander again despatched the Australian in straight games, winning 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 in 47 minutes.

"After my first round I had to be more ruthless," said the sixth seed. "And I think that tactically, I played well today. In Rotterdam, the court suited me better, and it was easier for me. But today, the court was more suited to his game, in particular his forehand, and I had to be prepared to be more proactive. And I was.

"I'm really happy with the way I played. I was trying to frustrate him, and only he can say if I succeeded, but I'm happy with what I implanted."

Matthew defeated fellow countryman Daryl Selby 12-10, 11-7, 11-8 in 65 minutes.

"I enjoyed my match today," said Selby later on Twitter. "Not the losing part but the running around like a maniac part. Disappointed, but Nick Matthew was a warrior!"

Willstrop eased into his sixth World Series quarter-final of the year after defeating Finland's Olli Tuominen 11-3, 11-8, 11-6.

Fourth seed Shabana, looking for his sixth title in Hong Kong after following his World Open success there in 2005 by four successive Hong Kong Open title triumphs, beat fellow countryman Hisham Mohamed Ashour 11-5, 11-7, 12-10, while in the final match of the day second seed Karim Darwish ended Tarek Momen's great run by beating the Egyptian qualifier 11-3, 11-2, 5-11, 11-7.

 

Qualifier Momen Makes Last 16 In Hong Kong

Egyptian Tarek Momen made an impressive debut today in the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open when he beat Swiss opponent Nicolas Mueller in a high-paced battle to become the only qualifier to make the last 16 round of the seventh PSA World Series squash event of the year.

The 23-year-old from Cairo - who has never before played in the popular PSA World Tour event celebrating its 25th staging this year - is one of six Egyptians to secure a place in Tuesday's second round.

In fact, since the Hong Kong Open draw was made, Momen has leapt to 19 in the world rankings - now three places ahead of the Zurich-born 22-year-old whom he was facing on the Tour for the first time.

Mueller prevailed in a tight and prolonged opening game - but Momen struck back to prove his new ranking superiority over his unseeded opponent to win 15-17, 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 in 48 minutes.

The rising star of Egyptian squash will now face compatriot Karim Darwish. The second seed, ranked six in the world, took just 27 minutes to overcome Malaysian qualifier Ivan Yuen - the only player in the draw ranked outside the top 100 - 11-5, 11-5, 11-4.

Another all-Egyptian second clash will see four-time champion Amr Shabana take on Cairo colleague Hisham Mohamed Ashour. Shabana, the distinguished former world number one who is making his 14th successive appearance in the championship since 1996, was fully tested by event newcomer Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan before beating the Malaysian qualifier 11-9, 11-9, 3-11, 11-1.

Ashour, older brother of the injured defending champion Ramy Ashour, battled for 47 minutes to see off experienced Malaysian Ong Beng Hee, a quarter-finalist in 2001 and 2002, 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9 in 47 minutes.

In the other upset of the day, Stewart Boswell doubled the Australian interest in the last 16 round when he defeated eighth seed Thierry Lincou in straight games.

Frenchman Lincou, always a favourite with the Hong Kong crowd since his title triumph in 2004, looked flat after his recent exploits in Macau, and although he briefly threatened a comeback in the third Boswell closed out the match 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 in 45 minutes.

And England's Tom Richards was close to becoming another unexpected first round casualty when he twice faced match-ball against him from French qualifier Mathieu Castagnet.

After the first four games were shared, the Englishman led the way in the decider, but pure determination saw Castagnet come back and earn two match balls at 10-8.

A despairing dive into the back corner couldn't stop Richards levelling and the Englishman completed a run of four points to win 8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 2-11, 12-10 in 77 minutes.

 

English Quartet Survive First Hong Kong Hurdle

England team-mates Nick Matthew, James Willstrop, Peter Barker and Daryl Selby came through today's first round of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open - but claimed their places in the last sixteen of the seventh PSA World Series squash event of the year in contrasting styles.

In an early match on the opening day of the 25th staging of one of the most popular events on the PSA World Tour, third seed Willstrop brushed aside fellow countryman Jonathan Kemp 13-11, 11-6, 11-5. The 24-minute win extended the world number three's career-long unbeaten Tour run over Kemp - but avenged Willstrop's shock defeat by the left-hander in the British National Championships nine months ago.

In the day's final encounter, top seed Nick Matthew continued where he left off after clinching his second successive World Open title in Rotterdam earlier in the month by despatching New Zealand qualifier Martin Knight 11-6, 11-4, 11-7.

But both Barker and Selby were taken the full distance as they battled against lower-ranked opponents in Hong Kong. Sixth seed Barker faced Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, the highest-ranked unseeded player in the draw.

The world No7 from London twice had to fight back from behind against fellow left-hander Anjema, ranked 11 in the world, before finally emerging triumphant 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 after 87 minutes.

And Selby, eager to make up for disappointing results this month in the World Open and Macau Open, fell two games down to Indian star Saurav Ghosal after leading 5-0 in the first. But the world No12 from Essex dug deep and ground down his opponent to win 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-3 in 66 minutes.

Selby now faces Matthew for a place in the quarter-finals, while Barker takes on Australian Cameron Pilley and Willstrop the rejuvenated Finn Olli Tuominen.

Pilley removed the only Hong Kong interest in the men's draw with a four-game win over the well-supported Max Lee. The 23-year-old Hong Kong national champion gave the crowd brief hope by taking the third game convincingly - but the tall Australian soon put paid to that, winning 11-2, 11-8, 3-11, 11-6 in 44 minutes.

Tuominen was the first player through to round two following a straight-game win over qualifier Borja Golan. Tuominen started at his usual ferocious pace, and although the Spaniard matched it at times, he suffered from too many unforced errors, particularly at the start of the third as he, much to his own annoyance, virtually gifted the Finn a 5-0 lead and there was no coming back from there.

Julian Illingworth, the sole US competitor in the championship, put in an impressive performance against Gregory Gaultier, winner of the last World Series event in Qatar. The record seven-time US national champion took the third game convincingly, but fifth-seeded Frenchman Gaultier closed out the match after 65 minutes, winning 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3.

Matthew In Bid For Hong Kong First

Qualifying finals:
Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 11-2 (41m)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Leo Au (HKG) 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8 (66m)
Martin Knight (NZL) bt Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 11-5 (70m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Chris Ryder (ENG) 12-10, 11-9, 12-10 (60m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Yann Perrin (FRA) 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (25m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Dick Lau (HKG) 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (37m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Matthew Karwalski (AUS) 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 (32m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Kamran Khan (MAS) 11-7, 11-9, 11-1 (48m)

Nick Matthew, the world number one who earlier this month claimed the PSA World Open title for the second year in a row, is favourite in this week's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open - a PSA World Series title the Englishman has yet to win.

Runner-up in 2004, the 31-year-old from Sheffield crashed out at the quarter-final stage last year and is eager to make amends in 2011.

The Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, in its 25th staging since 1985, is the seventh PSA World Series event of the year and gets underway and reaches its final at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on Sunday (20 November).

Matthew, who made his Hong Kong debut in 2001, opens his campaign against Martin Knight, a New Zealand qualifier who earned his maiden appearance in the main draw after beating India's Harinder Pal Sandhu 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 11-5 in 70 minutes in today's qualifying finals.

The withdrawal of title-holder Ramy Ashour, the world No2 from Egypt, with a hamstring injury has elevated his fellow countryman Karim Darwish to No2 seed. The 30-year-old from Cairo reached the semi-finals in 2010 - a position he has not bettered in eight appearances since 2001 - and faces Malaysian qualifier Ivan Yuen in the opening round.

Yuen became the only player outside the world's top 100 to qualify today when he dashed home hopes by beating Hong Kong's Leo Au 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8 in 66 minutes.

But pride of place in the Hong Kong Open draw goes to Amr Shabana, the distinguished Egyptian who won the title four years in a row from 2006 and made his debut in the championship in 1996 - three years ahead of any of his rivals this year!

Fourth seed Shabana begins his 14th successive campaign against Malaysian qualifier Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan, an 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 victor over Australian Matthew Karwalski today.

Au & Lau Lead Home Hopes In Hong Kong

RESULTS: PSA World Series Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong

1st qualifying round:
Tarek Momen (EGY) bye
Siddharth Suchde (IND) bt Wong Chi-Him (HKG) 11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (25m)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Bradley Hindle (MLT) 5-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 (77m)
Leo Au (HKG) bt Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) 11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 4-11, 17-15 (75m)
Martin Knight (NZL) bt Yuen Tsun-Hei (HKG) 11-3, 11-1, 11-7 (18m)
Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 13-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7 (40m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Ma Tsz Hei (HKG) 11-3, 11-7, 11-8 (24m)
Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Cheuk Yan Tang (HKG) 11-2, 11-5, 11-5 (20m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Ng Ka-Yiu (HKG) 11-1, 11-4, 11-6 (22m)
Yann Perrin (FRA) bt Yip Tsz Fung (HKG) 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9 (61m)
Dick Lau (HKG) bt Ho Tze Ho (HKG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (22m)
Gregoire Marche ! (FRA) bt Chris Lo Cheuk-Hin (HKG) 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (19m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Henry Leung Chi-Hin (HKG) 11-5, 11-7, 11-2 (20m)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt Yeung Ho Wai (HKG) 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (31m)
Kamran Khan (MAS) bt Hon Fung Wong (HKG) 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (25m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Ling To Yu (HKG) 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (25m)

A pair of Hong Kong players survived today's first qualifying round of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open to raise hopes of extending home interest in the main draw of the seventh PSA World Series squash event of the year this week in Hong Kong.

Leo Au, the world No104 from Hong Kong, played the game of his life to defeat Egypt's Omar Abdel Aziz, ranked 64 places higher.

The 21-year-old local star twice led the experienced Aziz - then saved four match-balls in the dramatic fifth game decider to record a stunning 11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 4-11, 17-15 victory in 75 minutes.

Au will now face Malaysia's Ivan Yuen in the qualifying finals for a place in the first round.

Dick Lau had a more straightforward task in seeing off local junior Ho Tze Ho. Lau, a 25-year-old who is ranked 88 in the world, beat his 17-year-old opponent 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 in just 22 minutes.

Lau will now line up against Gregoire Marche, the world No51 from France who despatched local player Chris Lo Cheuk-Hin 11-3, 11-7, 11-6.