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02/12/2012
HONG KONG OPEN (Women) 2012
 

David Triumphs With Seventh Hong Kong Title

Reports
  Final      Semi Finals      Quarter Finals     2nd Round    1st Round
 
 Hong Kong Open2012
Women's Draw
, $77k
Round One
27-28 Nov
Round Two
29 Nov
Quarters
30 Nov
Semis
01 Dec
Final
02 Dec
[1] Nicol David (Mas
11/2, 11/5, 11/5 (23m)
Sarah Kippax (Eng)
Nicol David
11/5, 11/5, 11/1 (27m)
Joey Chan
Nicol David
11-2, 11-4, 11-3 (30m)
Kasey Brown
Nicol David
11/8, 11/5, 11/6 (40m)
Natalie Grinham
Nicol David
11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7 (58m)
Camille Serme
Joey Chan (Hkg)
8/11, 11/4, 11/7, 11/9 (40m)
[Q] Kylie Lindsay (Nzl)
[5] Madeline Perry (Irl)
11/6, 11/6, 11/3 (19m)
[Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (Nzl)
Madeline Perry
 11/6, 11/8, 13/15, 11/6 (60m)
Kasey Brown (
Kasey Brown (Aus)
11/8, 11/2, 11/6 (31m)
[Q] Lauren Briggs (Eng)
[3] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
11/9, 11/9 , 11/9 (40m)
Delia Arnold (Mas)
Jenny Duncalf
11/9, 7/11, 14/12, 11/7 (60m)
 Dipika Pallikal
Jenny Duncalf
11-8, 10-12, 11-2, 11-5 (49m)
Natalie Grinham
Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
7/11, 11/6, 11/1, 11/5 (34m)
Liu Tsz-Ling (Hkg)
[8] Natalie Grinham (Ned)
11/7, 11/5, 11/4 (28m)
[Q] Heba El Torky (Egy)
Natalie Grinham
 11/7, 7/11, 11/6, 11/7 (49m)
 Nicolette Fernandes
Samantha Teran (Mex)
10/12, 11/9, 11/8, 5/11, 11/6 (78m)
[Q] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)
Aisling Blake (Irl)
11/7, 9/11, 13/11, 10/12, 11/2 (62m)
Camille Serme (Fra)
Camille Serme
5/11, 12/10, 11/3, 9/7 rtd (47m)
Low Wee Wern
Camille Serme
11-6, 11-7, 12-10 (28m)
Rachael Grinham
Camille Serme
v11/9, 4/11, 11/7, 11/13, 11/6 (65m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
[Q] Melody Francis (Aus)
11/1, 11/2, 11/1 (23m)
[7] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
Latasha Khan (Usa)
11/7, 11/6, 11/4 (23m)
Rachael Grinham (Aus)
Rachael Grinham
11/4, 10/12, 12/10, 17/15 (65m)
Joshana Chinappa
[Q] Joshana Chinappa (Ind)
5/11, 11/8, 6/11, 11/7, 11/5 (55m)
[4] Annie Au (Hkg)
Line Hansen (Den)
11/4, 11/5, 13/11 (37m)
Donna Urquhart (Aus)
Line Hansen
12/10, 11/3, 6/11, 11/7 (38m)
Alison Waters
Alison Waters
11-9, 9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9 (67m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Emma Beddoes (Eng)
11/4, 11/3, 11/2 (27m)
[6] Alison Waters (Eng)
[Q] Coline Aumard (Fra)
11/3, 11/4, 11/3 (21m)
Joelle King (Nzl)
Joelle King
11/8, 3/11, 11/13, 11/8, 11/7 (62m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
11/9, 11/9, 11/7 (40m)
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng)

Final

David Triumphs With Seventh Hong Kong Title

Nicol David completed her seventh back-to-back Hong Kong title after winning the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash Open

The 29-year-old from Penang, Malaysia looked assured in her defence of the competition from her very first game, as she worked through the early stages of the competition seemingly untroubled.  Defeating Sarah Kippax and Joey Chan in the first two rounds of the $70,000 World Series event took less than half an hour, whilst her quarter-final contest against Kasey Brown was exactly 30-minutes. 

David, seeded first for the week, was made to work more by the experienced Natalie Grinham, whom she first played back in 2000.  In their 31st WSA meeting the Dutch international forced her opponent short in the first game, which the Malaysian took a while to adjust to, but the former world No.2 couldn’t maintain the pressure before succumbing in 40minutes. 

By contrast, her final opponent 23-year-old Camille Serme had seen some serious court-time this week, amassing over three hours of play thanks to lengthy wins over Aisling Blake, Low Wee Wern and Omneya Abdel Kawy.  Her only comparative respite came in the quarter-finals as she took just 28-minutes to supress Rachael Grinham’s advances. 

You could forgive the world No.13 from Creteil, France for feeling the effects of her journey to the final, but the eleventh seed showed little sign of fatigue or nerves as the pair launched in to a close first game battle on the Hong Kong harbour-front. 

David, fast and agile as ever, maintained constant pressure on Serme, whose short volleys and slow lobs were combining to good effect against the world champion.  Consistency was occasionally lacking from the Frenchwoman however, and the error-count weighed against the younger player as she lost the first game.  Heightened pressure saw a similar outcome in the second, with Serme hitting a number of tins in her attempts to find the winning shot against David’s impeccable retrieving. 

The Malaysian seemed comfortable though, and was happy to scurry around the court, getting the ball back and waiting for the loose shot.  She took the second game by a wider margin, but Serme was not going down easily.  The underdog hit back in the third, varying the pace to trouble David, and some well aimed front court efforts broke the mid-game deadlock and allowed the French national champion a way back into the contest, which she duly took. 

David returned to court refocused, and weathered the Serme storm throughout the early stages of the fourth game.  The Texas Open champion had shown fleeting signs of fatigue earlier in the tie, and David was happy to extend the rallies and wait for Serme to make the tired errors, which did come.  Always threatening throughout the game, David was able to see off the match in four games, an exciting climax to a mostly rain-free finals day at the Hong Kong harbour-side, in front of an on-looking International Olympic Committee. 

David was buoyant on her seventh title, and 40th undefeated match in Hong Kong.  She said afterwards, ““I think I played a good game today, but Camille got more and more confident with her shots.  I had to play tighter in the fourth, making the rallies as tough as I could.

“This is my 10th year playing the HK Open, but I’ve been playing in their Junior Open since I was 11! ! It will always be a special tournament for me this one.”

Both players have two weeks to recover ahead of the WSA Cayman Islands World Open, which runs from the 14-21st December, featuring all of the WSA’s biggest names.

 

Semi Finals

Serme Reaches Maiden World Series Summit In Hong Kong


Camille Serme recorded her best World Series placing to date after reaching the final of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open 2012.

The 23-year-old from Creteil, Paris, France claimed a tense five-game victory over Omneya Abdel Kawy, who had caused mass-upsets through her previous rounds in the event.

The unseeded Egyptian started the event at the Hong Kong Squash Centre in formidable form, defeating second seed Laura Massaro in straight games in round one, before moving past tenth and sixth seeds Joelle King and Alison Waters in hour-long five-game clashes.

Serme, who defeated Rachael Grinham, Low Wee Wern and Aisling Blake on her way to the semi’s, claimed a close first game on the all-glass court at the Hong Kong harbour-side, before the world No.22 hit back with a dominant second to draw level.  The Frenchwoman held her nerve against the former world No.4, chipping away at her 11-point target and was rewarded with the third game to retake the lead.  Another close contest ensued in the fourth, and a tiebreak was needed to separate the pair.  Serme held match-point at 11-10 but was unable to see off her opponent and Kawy claimed three points in a row to force her third successive five-game match.  A string of errors early on from the attacking Egyptian gave Serme a golden opportunity to extend a lead in the last game, and she took duly capitalised on her six-point lead from which Kawy never recovered.

Seeded eleventh for the event, Serme now progresses to her first final of a World Series event, and will face the ever-formidable six-time World and Hong Kong Open Champion Nicol David.  The Malaysian continued her steamroller approach to the competition, with her sights firmly focussed on a seventh Hong Kong title.  The top seed is yet to drop a game in the competition, having moved past Sarah Kippax, Joey Chan and Kasey Brown in no longer that 30-minutes each, and maintained her punishing form today against Natalie Grinham.

Grinham’s tactics of hitting the ball short from the back of the court seemed to benefit the Dutch international during the early stages of the game, but David’s movement and width from the front caused problems for the No.8 seed.  The former world No.2 was unable to consistently trouble David, who moves into her 81st WSA World Tour final.
 

Quarter Finals

 World Series Semi Beckons For Kawy & Serme

Omneya Abdel Kawy reaches her first World Series semi-final in over a year after beating a third consecutive seeded player in the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash Open quarter-finals.

The unseeded Egyptian, who had already eliminated the second and tenth seeds in the competition, today lined up against No.6 seed Alison Waters.   The Englishwoman sits at No.4 in the WSA world rankings, but Kawy maintained her fearless approach from the beginning of the match to take the first game.  Waters hit back with an equally close second game win, before stretching out a larger lead to take the third.  Kawy, formerly a world No.4 herself, came back at the Englishwoman, denying her time on the ball and upping the pressure to claim the fourth and force a deciding fifth game.  The Egyptian seemed relentless in pursuing her semi-final goal, but Waters stayed in the contest until 8-all, when Kawy pulled away, and the deficit proved too much.

Kawy hasn’t reached a World Series semi-final since July 2011, but will now face eleventh seed Camille Serme in the next round.   Serme, whose last World Series semi-final also came at the Malaysian Open in July 2011, took just 28-minutes to defeat Rachael Grinham and ensure the extension of her Hong Kong campaign.  The young Frenchwoman dominated the opening exchanges and seemed largely untroubled until Grinham applied the pressure in the third.  The resilient Australian did enough to force a tiebreak, but was unable to capitalise and went down in straight games.

One Grinham sister did make it through to tomorrow’s semi-final round, as Dutch international Natalie Grinham defeated No.3 seed Jenny Duncalf in four games.  With head-to-heads stretching back as far as 2002, Duncalf holds the better record, although Grinham had claimed four of their last six clashes.  A recent drop in form from Duncalf means that the Englishwoman hasn’t progressed past the quarter-finals of a WSA World Tour event in over a year.  A close early encounter went in favour of Grinham, but her opponent hit back with a hard fought tiebreak win in the second game.  The game seemed to have taken a lot out of Duncalf, and Grinham was able to claim a comfortable third game, before closing out the contest without much of a fight-back from the former world No.2.

Grinham will have her work cut out tomorrow as she is drawn to play six-time Hong Kong Open champion Nicol David.  The Malaysian is yet to drop more than five points in a game so far in this year’s event, and was on lethal form as she dispatched Australian ninth seed Kasey Brown in 30-minutes.

Play switches tomorrow from the Hong Kong Squash Centre, to an all-glass court set up on the Hong Kong harbour-front.

 

2nd Round

Kawy Claims Another Seed To Book Quarter-Final Appearance

Omneya Abdel Kawy’s timely return to top form prompted a further casualty among the seeded players in the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash Open round two.

The Egyptian world No.22 shocked audiences yesterday with a clinical first round deconstruction of second seed Laura Massaro, and continued her run today with a equally strong performance against tenth seed Joelle King.  The 27-year-old, who reached No.4 in the WSA rankings two years ago, came back from a game down to force a deciding fifth game against the New Zealander, and completed the scalp in 62-minutes.  Kawy will now play Alison Waters in tomorrow’s quarter-finals, as the Englishwoman defeated Line Hansen in a four-game, 38-minutes clash.

Ninth seed Kasey Brown also caused an upset in the seeding’s this afternoon, as the Australian beat Madeline Perry of Ireland.  Brown took a confident two game lead in this encounter, before Perry dug in her heals to prevent a straight games loss.  The No.5 seed claimed the third game 15-13 in the tiebreak, but was unable to maintain her edge as Brown closed out the match on the hour-mark.

Brown will face top seed Nicol David in next round, after the Malaysian World Champion dismissed the last remaining home hope from the competition, 16th seed Joey Chan, in three games.

Camille Serme was leading Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern in the fourth game, when the No.7 seed suffered a pulled hamstring and was forced to retire.  Serme, seeded twelfth for the event, progresses to her second World Series quarter-final of the season where she will play experienced Rachael Grinham.  Grinham defeated resilient qualifier Joshana Chinappa in four games to reach her first World Series quarter-final round since the KL Open back in March.

Third seed Jenny Duncalf continued her Hong Kong Open run by defeating Dipika Pallikal of India.  The Englishwoman put down the No.12 seed in four games to set up a clash with Natalie Grinham tomorrow.  The Dutch international dispatched remaining qualifier Nicolette Fernandes in four games to set up an 18th WSA head-to-head against Duncalf.

 

1st Round Bottom Half

Major Upsets As Seeds Fall At First Hurdle

The second day of Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash Open round one matches unearthed more surprise results at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.

The biggest surprise for local supporters came as home favourite and No.4 seed Annie Au lost out in a five-game scrap with Indian qualifier Joshana Chinappa.  The Hong Kong international dropped the first game, before an ensuing game of cat and mouse led to the 23-year-old adding to the World Series misery she suffered when losing in round one of the U.S Open earlier in the year.

An unexpected inclusion to the second round, Chinappa will face seasoned WSA stalwart Rachael Grinham, who progressed with a comfortable straight-games win over Latasha Khan of the USA.

Another shock result saw number two seed Laura Massaro succumb to a heavy defeat against former world No.4 Omneya Abdel Kawy.  The Englishwoman had been set to capitalise on the absence of Raneem El Weleily from the World Series event, but her Egyptian compatriot Kawy dismissed Massaro’s challenge in three games, to allow El Weleily some breathing space ranked as No.2 in the world.

Kawy will progress to play New Zealander Joelle King, in a rematch of last month’s Macau Open final.  King took just 21-minutes to dispatch French qualifier Coline Aumard in three games.

A third upset of the day came as Donna Urquhart suffered her fifth consecutive first round exit, this time at the hand of unseeded Dane, Line Hansen.  In remarkably the pair’s third meeting in round one of this event, Hansen took a comfortable two game lead against the Australian, who seemed unable to mount any serious challenge for points.  The No.15 seed came close to constructing a comeback in the third game, but was unable to swing the tiebreak in her favour.

Hansen will face sixth seed Alison Waters in round two, after the world No.4 dismissed the challenge of her compatriot Emma Beddoes in straight games.

Unseeded Aisling Blake came close to an upset in her first round tie against eleventh seed Camille Serme.  The Irishwoman came from behind twice to draw level and force a fifth game, but the Paris-born player proved too strong in the decider.  Serme lines up against last month’s China Open champion Low Wee Wern, following the seventh seed’s strong three-game victory over qualifier Melody Francis.

1st Round Top Half

Just One Surprise From First Day Of Hong Kong Round One

The first day of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Finance Hong Kong Squash Open saw just one surprise result from the top half of a split round one draw.

The 32-draw World Series event, boasting a $70,000 prize-fund, kicked off at the Cultural Centre in Hong Kong this afternoon, with No.3 seed Jenny Duncalf looking to improve her form after a disappointing recent run.  Last year’s Rotterdam World Open runner-up played Delia Arnold of Malaysia and the Englishwoman closed out the narrowest of straight-game victories to book her second round place.

Duncalf will face twelfth seed Dipika Pallikal, who was given an early scare by her local wildcard opponent Liu Tsz-Ling.  The home hope took a commanding first game lead before the Indian No.1 could get into the contest, but a refocused effort saw Pallikal grasp the match firmly from the second game to win in four games.

Experienced WSA World Tour pro, Natalie Grinham saw off the challenge of the only Egyptian in the top half of the draw, Heba El Torky.  The Netherlands international took under half and hour to dispatch the 21-year-old qualifier in straight games, and will now face surprise second round opponent Nicolette Fernandes.

The Guyanese player, who had already seen 48-minutes of court time during her qualifying matches, came out on top after a five-game thriller against No.14 seed Samantha Teran of Mexico, recording her best career win to date.

Ninth seed Kasey Brown saw a straight games win over qualifier Lauren Briggs propel her into a second round clash with No.5 seed Madeline Perry.  Perry also made light work over her qualifying opponent Amanda Landers-Murphy in three games.

Highest seeded local of today’s play, Joey Chan pleased the on-looking crowds by beating Kylie Lindsay of New Zealand.  The qualifying Kiwi had started quickly and stole a march on Hong Kong’s second seed, but Chan upped her performance to take the next three games and close out the contest.

In Thursday’s round two, Chan faces the unenviable task of facing top seed and six-time Hong Kong Open champion, Nicol David.  The Malaysian world No.1 beat unseeded Englishwoman Sarah Kippax in a straight forward three-game tie to start her quest for title number seven in typical no-nonsense fashion.

The bottom-half of the round one draw continues tomorrow afternoon at the Culture Centre, as second and fourth seeds Raneem El Weleily and local hope Annie Au both look to get their campaigns underway.  Also in action are last month’s big ranking movers Alison Waters, Joelle King and Low Wee Wern.