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08/12/2013
HONG KONG OPEN (Women) 2013
 

Record 90th Turns Into Nine For Nicol David In Hong Kong

Women's Draw
Hong Kong Open 2013
  
Hong Kong Squash Centre, $77k
03-08 December

Official event website: www.hksquashopen.com

click here for Squash Player Men's Event Pages

Round One
03-04 Dec
Round Two
05 Dec
Quarters
06 Dec
Semis
07 Dec
Final
08 Dec
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (35m)
Samantha Cornett (CAN)
Nicol David
7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (41m)
Camille Serme
Nicol David
11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (24m)
Jenny Duncalf
Nicol David
9-11,13-11,11-7,11-7 (58)
Alison Waters
Nicol David
11-7,11-7,12-10(35m)
Raneem El Weleily
[9] Camille Serme (Fra)
11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7 (42m)
Emily Whitlock (Eng)
[16] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)
11-7, 11-9, 12-10 (38m)
Donna Urquhart (Aus)
Nicolette Fernandes
12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9 (76m)
Jenny Duncalf
Joey Chan (Hkg)
11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8 (45m)
[5] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
[4] Alison Waters (Eng)
11-3, 11-5, 11-5 (24m)
[Q] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN)
Alison Waters
11-2, 11-4, 11-5 (23m)
Tesni Evans
Alison Waters
12-14, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (41m)
Joshana Chinappa (Ind)
[10] Kasey Brown (Aus)
10-12, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8 (81m)
[Q] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[15] Line Hansen (Den)
11-6, 12-10, 11-9 (44m)
Sarah Kippax (Eng)
Line Hansen
12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5 (44m)
Joshana Chinappa (Ind)
Joshana Chinappa (Ind)
11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (31m)
[7] Natalie Grinham (Ned)
[8] Madeline Perry (Irl)
11-6, 7-11, 11-2, 11-6 (30m)
[Q] Mariam Ibrahim
Madeline Perry
12-10, 11-3, 11-5 (27m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Madeline Perry
11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (30m)
Raneem El Weleily
Raneem El Weleily
11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (26m)
Annie Au
Siyoli Waters (Rsa)
14-16, 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (40m)
[11] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
15-13, 11-6, 11-2 (34m)
[14] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
Nour El Tayeb
11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-8 (38m)
Raneem El Weleily
[3] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (21m)
Liu Tsz-Ling (Hkg)
[6] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
8-11, 12-14, 11-3, 11-8, 11-5 (72m)
[Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG)
Emma Beddoes
11-3, 11-4, 11-6 (26m)
Annie Au
Annie Au
11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9 (50m)
Laura Massaro
[Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-2 (68m)
[12] Annie Au (Hkg)
[Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
11-9, 13-11, 11-5 (31m)
[13] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
Rachael Grinham
11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (29m)
Laura Massaro
[Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)
11-2, 11-8, 11-9 (26m)
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng)

RESULTS: Women's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open,
Hong Kong

Qualifying finals:
Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 (30m)
Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Ho Ka Po (HKG) 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 (65m)
Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt Melody Francis (AUS) 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-2, 11-3 (43m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Laura Pomportes (FRA) 11-8, 11-4, 11-9 (29m)
Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Olivia Blatchford (USA) 12-10, 11-9, 11-5 (34m)
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-5, 2-11, 11-6, 11-7 (43m)
Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt Deon Saffery (WAL) 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (27m)
Mariam Ibrahim Metwally (EGY) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 (26m)

1st qualifying round:
Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Lee Ka Yi (HKG) 13-11, 11-6, 11-6 (29m)
Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) bt Nadine Ayman Shahin (EGY) 11-6, 11-6, 11-2 (29m)
Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Carmen Lee (HKG) 11-7, 11-2, 11-9 (21m)
Ho Ka Po (HKG) bt Sina Wall (GER) 11-9, 11-7, 11-3 (30m)
Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt Vanessa Chu (HKG) 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9 (30m)
Melody Francis (AUS) bt Jannis Lam (HKG) 11-8, 11-4, 11-8 (26m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Li Dongjin (CHN) 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (16m)
Laura Pomportes (FRA) bt Choi Uen Shan (HKG) 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10 (52m)
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Chan Ho-Ching (HKG) 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 (22m)
Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Belen Etchechoury (ARG) 11-2, 11-6, 11-4 (19m)
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt Aparajitha Balamurukan (IND) 11-0, 11-6, 11-4 (20m)
Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Karman Siu (HKG) 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 (19m)
Deon Saffery (WAL) bt Ho Ka-Wing (HKG) 11-8, 11-2, 11-2 (19m)
Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt Sarah Cardwell (AUS) 11-3, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6 (33m)
Mariam Ibrahim Metwally (EGY) bt Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (35m)
Latasha Khan (USA) bt Cheng Nga Ching (HKG) 11-2, 11-6, 11-7 (13m)

 
Final

Record 90th Turns Into Nine For Nicol David In Hong Kong

The unstoppable Malaysian squash superstar Nicol David today celebrated her record 90th WSA World Tour final appearance in the Women's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open by capturing her eighth Hong Kong Open crown in a row - and her ninth successive major title in Hong Kong.

The final WSA World Series Gold event of the year came to a glorious climax today on an all-glass showcourt at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on the spectacular Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront.

The women's final, a re-run of the 2011 climax, saw world No1 David take on Egypt's Raneem El Welily, the third seed from Cairo.

After evenly-contested first halves of the first two games, David (pictured above in action with El Welily) romped away to open up a 2/0 lead - but world No3 El Welily led briefly in the third before the Malaysian again took charge to close out the match 11-7, 11-7, 12-10 in 35 minutes.

Today's outcome can be simply summed up numerically: It was 30-year-old David's 6th WSA World Tour title of the year; her 9th consecutive title in Hong Kong after winning the first of her record seven World Open titles in the special administrative region of China in 2005; it was the Penangite's 45th successive match win in Hong Kong; the 71st WSA World Tour of her career; and a record-equalling 90th Tour final appearance.

The win will without doubt also see David into her 9th decade at the top of the world rankings in January!

"Hong Kong is a lucky charm of mine, I guess," David told SportAsia. "It means the world to me to win in Hong Kong every time. It's always special. Having won here since the 2005 World Open, it's really an experience for me. There's definitely something special in Hong Kong that keeps me going and wanting to do well here."

Of the final, David added: "The tempo was so high. It was such ruthless squash from the both of us. No one took their foot off the pedal. It was all the way, just full on, so I was really happy to stay in there with her. All of our matches have been this fast, this intense.

"It was really close in the first and second games, neck and neck until the very end. It could have gone her way in the first two games, but I came back stronger at the end of each just to make it clear that I won that game."

David (pictured above with men's champion Nick Matthew) can now look forward to a well-earned Christmas break: "I'll be back in Malaysia a lot longer this time to really have a proper Christmas and New Year with my family and friends.

"I did miss out last year and certainly looking forward to some down time at home."

 

Semi Finals

David Shares Fitz-Gerald's 90-Final Record In Hong Kong

A near hour-long victory by defending champion Nicol David over England's Alison Waters in the semi-finals of the Women's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open sees the Malaysian equal the 90 WSA World Tour final appearances set by Australian squash legend Sarah Fitz-Gerald.

World No1 David, going for a remarkable ninth successive title in Hong Kong, recovered from a game down to beat No4 seed Waters 9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-7 in 58 minutes in the WSA World Series Gold event on an all-glass showcourt at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre at the Hong Kong harbour.

"To equal Sarah in anything is always an accomplishment for me," David (pictured above with Waters) told SportAsia. "She's so respected and she's done wonders for women's squash. She's one of my role models as well, so to actually equal what she's done is really a feat for me."

Fitz-Gerald, 45, expected David to not only go on to beat her record but also reach at least a century of finals.

"She's done magnificently well and I expect her to go bigger and beyond that," said Melbourne-based Fitz-Gerald, who won five World Open titles among her 62 WSA titles.

"Knowing her, she'd be looking at 100 and probably 120 or so. Good on her. She's a great little champion and a fantastic ambassador for squash," added the Australian.

In a repeat of the 2011 final, David will take on Egypt's Raneem El Welily. The world No3 from Cairo broke Hong Kong hearts by ending local star Annie Au's run, beating the Hong Kong number one, the event's 12th seed, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5.

El Welily (pictured above with left-hander Au), 24, is marking her 17th WSA Tour final.
 

Quarter Finals

Au Ousts Massaro To Make Hong Kong Semis

Hong Kong squash star Annie Au thrilled the Women's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open crowds at the Hong Kong Squash Centre today when she upset England's world No2 Laura Massaro in four games to claim a surprise semi-final berth in the WSA World Series Gold event for the second time in three years.

The Hong Kong number one, ranked 14 places below the No2 seed, went into the match 5-2 down in Tour clashes with Massaro since their first meeting in the 2008 Hong Kong Open. But Au had won two of the recent three meetings - including the most recent at the World Series Finals in London in January.

And, spurred on by the packed and partisan crowd, left-hander Au (pictured above with Massaro) used all her skill and knowledge of the court to hold off her 30-year-old opponent, eventually winning 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9 in 50 minutes to earn a place in the semi-finals - when the event moves onto an all-glass showcourt at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre at the Hong Kong harbour.

"I feel really happy," 24-year-old Au said later. "The feeling is really great because for the second time I'll be playing on the glass court in Tsim Sha Tsui. Last time it felt really amazing to play over there, so to get there a second time makes me really happy.

"This is definitely the biggest win of my career," continued the 12th seed. "Laura has been performing really well for the past few months and now I beat her and I feel more confident in myself. My confidence is back because my ranking has dropped this year so I was a bit disappointed."

Au now faces Egypt's Raneem El Welily, the third seed who was runner-up in her last appearance in the championship in 2011.

The world No3 from Cairo defeated compatriot Omneya Abdel Kawy, the 28-year-old world No13 who reached the final in 2009, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 in 30 minutes.

"Playing Laura was the expected thing, but obviously Annie played well," said El Welily. "I haven't played her in a long time and obviously she's the crowd favourite so I hope I play well."

The Alexandria-born 24-year-old will return to the Tsim Sha Tsui venue for the second time in three years. "It's really beautiful there. It's really nice. I can't wait."

Malaysian star Nicol David extended her formidable record in Hong Kong by notching up her 43rd successive win in the event over the past decade. The world number one, going for a ninth title in a row, took just 24 minutes to see off England's No5 seed Jenny Duncalf 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 in a repeat of the 2010 final.

David will renew her rivalry with a second English opponent, Alison Waters, in the semis. Six times a quarter-finalist since 2007, Londoner Waters earned only her second ever semi berth when she beat surprise unseeded opponent Joshana Chinappa.

The 11-time Indian champion from Mumbai was celebrating her first ever appearance in the last eight of a World Series event after upsetting the No7 seed Natalie Grinham and 15th seed Line Hansen in the previous two rounds.

Chinappa (pictured above, left, with Waters) carried on where she left off by tasking the first game against Waters. But the world No4 recovered to win 12-14, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 after 41 minutes.
 

2nd round:

Chinappa Charges Into Maiden World Series Quarter-Final In Hong Kong

India's Joshana Chinappa pulled off a sensational second successive upset in today's second round of the Women's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open to claim her first ever quarter-final berth in a WSA World Series event.

After making her breakthrough in the first round where she upset No7 seed Natalie Grinham, the 27-year-old from Mumbai today stunned Denmark's No15 seed Line Hansen 12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5 in 44 minutes to become the only unseeded player to reach the last eight of the final World Series Gold event of the year at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.

Currently just two places below the career-high world No24 ranking she achieved two months ago, 11-time Indian national champion Chinappa made her WSA World Series championship debut in the Kuwait Open qualifiers in March 2005. Now, 28 World Series events later, the Chennai-born Indian star is making her long-awaited quarter-final debut.

"I hadn't played Line for five years but she's had some good results recently so I knew it would be tough," Chinappa (pictured above in action with Hansen) said later. "I really like it here in Hong Kong and seem to play well. That's two good wins for me."

Chinappa will now face Alison Waters, the No4 seed from England who took only 23 minutes to dismiss Welsh qualifier Tesni Evans 11-2, 11-4, 11-5. It was Waters that Chinappa met in the first qualifying round in Kuwait in 2005

"It will be very different tomorrow on the glass court, but I had a great time on there last year [beating Annie Au] so I hope to do well on there again tomorrow," concluded Chinappa.

Two greats of the women's game will meet in the quarter-finals when defending champion Nicol David, the top seed from Malaysia, takes on 2010 runner-up Jenny Duncalf, the fifth seed from England.

In a repeat of last year's final, David beat France's Camille Serme - but had to recover from a game down to overcome the No9 seed 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 in 41 minutes.

Duncalf was taken the full distance by rising Guyana star Nicolette Fernandes before finally beating the 16th seed 12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9 in 76 minutes.

The quarter-final clash will be David and Duncalf's 28th on the WSA World Tour since February 2002 - and fourth in the Hong Kong Open. The Malaysian holds a 25-2 head-to-head advantage, with Duncalf claiming her two victories in quick succession in November 2009.

Local star Annie Au keeps Hong Kong hopes alive following her 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 win over English giant-killer Emma Beddoes (both pictured above), the 28-year-old qualifier who ousted sixth seed Low Wee Wern in the first round.

Au, the No12 seed who was a semi-finalist in 2011, now faces second seed Laura Massaro. In a match between two of the game's most experienced players, the world No2 from England defeated Australia's former champion Rachael Grinham 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (both pictured below).

An Egyptian semi-finalist is guaranteed when 11th seed Omneya Abdel Kawy takes on Raneem El Welily, the third seed. Kawy, from Cairo, upset Ireland's No8 seed Madeline Perry 12-10, 11-3, 11-5, while El Welily, the 2011 runner-up from Alexandria, beat compatriot Nour El Tayeb 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-8.
 

Round One Top Half

David Gets Title Defence Underway In Hong Kong

Malaysia's world number one Nicol David successfully began her defence of the Women's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open title when she beat Canadian qualifier Samantha Cornett in the first round of the final WSA World Series Gold squash event of the year at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.

Bidding to win her ninth title in a row, the 30-year-old from Penang notched up her 41st successive Hong Kong match win with her 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 victory over 22-year-old Cornett, the world No32 from Ottawa.

"I've seen that she's had some good results," David (pictured above with Cornett) told www.sport-asia.com later. "Being so tall, I knew she was going to be strong volleying and she's an attacking player. I knew I couldn't give her anything and I paid the price sometimes.

"She's keen, has nothing to lose and wanted to go for any opportunities that are there. Anything in the forehand volley and backhand volley, she was just putting it in. This court is very unforgiving and when she was playing her shots I had to really keep sharp, keep solid, and I did that at the end of each game."

"At 7-7, it's always crucial, so I just focused on that rally and then the next rally, when I guess she was still thinking of the last point. I just wanted to keep that momentum and get those few points when I needed to. Then I just wanted to keep the intensity and put her under pressure, especially in the third game," David continued.

"When the pressure was on, she went a little bit too fine, too soon, and that's where I got the advantage and I took the chances. I needed to keep to my game and not fall into her patterns. I'm really pleased to come out playing well at the end of each game and win it 3/0. Everything came together well."

The top seed now faces French rival Camille Serme, the ninth seed who need four games to see off Hong Kong Open debutante Emily Whitlock, a 19-year-old from England, 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7.

Tesni Evans became the second British qualifier to reach the event's last 16 after a stunning five-game upset over Kasey Brown, the No10 seed from Australia. The 21-year-old Welsh number one, who survived a five-game qualifying finals encounter, twice came from behind to overcome world No11 Brown 10-12, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8 in 81 minutes to reach the second round in her maiden appearance in the event.

But India's Joshana Chinappa claimed the biggest upset of the day after removing No7 seed Natalie Grinham. The unseeded 27-year-old from Mumbai despatched Dutch star Grinham, runner-up in 2007, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4.

The shock win avenged 14th seed compatriot Dipika Pallikal's surprise first round defeat 24 hours earlier.

16th seed Nicolette Fernandes provided Guyana interest in the second round for the second year in a row after beating Australian Donna Urquhart 11-7, 11-9, 12-10.

World No19 Fernandes (pictured above with left-hander Urquhart) will now line up against England's Jenny Duncalf after the No5 seed denied the crowd double Hong Kong interest in the last 16 round when she beat Joey Chan 11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8.

 

Round One Lower Half

Beddoes Beats Low In Hong Kong High

English qualifier Emma Beddoes pulled off one of the biggest wins of her career when she beat sixth seed Low Wee Wern in today's opening round of the Women's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, the WSA World Series Gold squash event at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.

Despite the 17 world ranking positions which separate the pair, Beddoes and Wee Wern have endured five-game battles in all three of their previous Tour encounters, with the world No8 from Malaysia going into today's match 2/1 ahead.

And 23-year-old Wee Wern took the opening two games, before the plucky 28-year-old from Nottingham began to take the upper hand before closing out the match 8-11, 12-14, 11-3, 11-8, 11-5 in 72 minutes.

"She is such a talented fighter, and we always have tough battles," admitted Beddoes, (pictured above with Low, foreground). "And on such a cold court, it was all about who would take the initiative, although the rallies were very long.

"But I knew it was there. I had been playing well lately - I was waiting for a good result on the WSA. And here it is.

"I'm really proud actually, coming back from 2/0 down against a top 10 player, really proud. And I'm also very happy I have a day off tomorrow!"

Egypt's Nour El Tayeb also recorded an impressive upset when she defeated India's in-form 14th seed Dipika Pallikal 15-13, 11-6, 11-2.

"I'm happy with my performance, because I've been training very hard, and the hard work is paying off," said the jubilant 20-year-old from Cairo afterwards. "Beating Dipika is very important for me, because she's had some really great results lately, and it's even sweeter because it's my first time ever in Hong Kong!"

But it was 12th seed Annie Au who produced the day's most popular win when she overcame Egyptian qualifier Yathreb Adel. But the 24-year-old Hong Kong number one was taken the full distance before finally seeing off the 17-year-old from Cairo 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-2 in 68 minutes.

Au, the world No16 (pictured above with Adel) now faces Beddoes for a place in the quarter-finals.

After a shock first round exit in the 2012 championship, England's world No2 Laura Massaro earned a confidence-boosting opening round victory today when she beat French qualifier Coline Aumard 11-2, 11-8, 11-9.

In her tenth successive appearance in the event, the No2 seed will now face Australian veteran Rachael Grinham, the 13th seed and former champion who has played in all 12 events since 2001! The 36-year-old Queenslander defeated 17-year-old Egyptian qualifier Salma Hany Ibrahim 11-9, 13-11, 11-5.
 

Six Qualifiers To Make Hong Kong Open Debuts

All but two of the players who survived today's qualifying finals of the Women's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open will be making their debuts in the WSA World Series Gold squash event at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.

Teenagers Mariam Ibrahim Metwally, Yathreb Adel and Salma Hany Ibrahim - all just 17 - doubled the Egyptian representation in the main draw after impressive qualifying finals performances. Metwally, the world No70, became the lowest-ranked player in the draw when she defeated US veteran Latasha Khan, the 40-year-old from Seattle ranked more than 40 places higher, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 in just 26 minutes.

Adel, the world No36 from Cairo, defeated France's Laura Pomportes 11-8, 11-4, 11-9, while Alexandria-based Ibrahim denied further Malaysian interest in the main draw when she beat Delia Arnold (both pictured above) 11-5, 2-11, 11-6, 11-7.

Twin Hong Kong hopes Tong Tsz-Wing and Ho Ka Po bowed out at the final hurdle. England's Emma Beddoes despatched the former 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 to book her sixth successive appearance in the first round, while 19-year-old Ho twice led Tesni Evans (pictured above, right, with Ho) before her higher-ranked Welsh opponent prevailed 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 in 65 minutes to make her event debut.

Canada's Samantha Cornett also survived a five-game onslaught, fighting back from 2/1 down to beat Australian Melody Francis 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-2, 11-3.

The 22-year-old from Ottawa, ranked 32 in the world, will make her Hong Kong Open debut against top seed Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia.

David, poised on 40 matches without defeat over the past ten years in Hong Kong, is bidding to win her ninth successive title.
 

Hong Kong Pair Survive Qualifying Openers

The prospect of two further local players making the main draw of the Women's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open were given a major boost today at the Hong Kong Squash Centre where Tong Tsz-Wing and Ho Ka Po both prevailed in the first qualifying round of the WSA World Series Gold squash event.

Tong Tsz-Wing defeated Egypt's 16-year-old Nadine Ayman Shahin 11-6, 11-6, 11-2. The 21-year-old world No56 from Hong Kong will now face England's Emma Beddoes for a place in the main draw.

19-year-old Ho Ka Po upset Germany's former world No41 Sina Wall 11-9, 11-7, 11-3 - and will now line up against Welsh number one Tesni Evans in the qualifying finals.

A remarkable 27-year age gap separated the two players who contested the day's final qualifying battle: The indefatigable 40-year-old seven-time US champion Latasha Khan had to call upon all her experience to outshine 13-year-old Hong Kong prospect Cheng Nga Ching 11-2, 11-6, 11-7.

Khan, the world No30 from Seattle, faces another teenager in the qualifying finals when she meets Mariam Ibrahim Metwally, the 17-year-old from Egypt who ousted Hong Kong's Ho Tze-Lok 11-9, 11-5, 11-6.

The day's most dramatic battle took place between France's Laura Pomportes and local hope Choi Uen Shan. World No58 Pomportes twice led the unranked 17-year-old - but Shan twice levelled, and had match-ball in the decider before the 24-year-old French player finally clinched her 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10 victory after 52 minutes.

 

Nicol David In Ninth Hong Kong Title Bid

18 years after winning her first junior international title there as a 12-year-old, Malaysia's world number one Nicol David returns next week to Hong Kong where she is seeded to win her ninth successive title in the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open.

The WSA World Series Gold event - the last of the year - gets underway at the Hong Kong Squash Centre on 3 December after two days of qualifying, before moving onto an all-glass court at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre for the semi-finals on Saturday 7 December and finals on Sunday 8 December.

"Hong Kong has always played a big role in my squash career, whether it was in juniors or in WSA," said the 30-year-old from Penang who boasts an unbeaten 40-match record in Hong Kong over the past decade. "I won my first international junior title here in the under-13's and, having won my first World title here in 2005, Hong Kong has a special place in my heart and my life.

"It would be great, of course, to win a ninth title - but I'd like to just be prepared for the strong competition this year for now. Every year it gets more and more intense amongst the players and I certainly have to step up my game compared to the past years competing here."

David's last defeat in Hong Kong was in December 2003 - to England's former world champion Cassie Jackman in the World Open semi-finals. Unseeded, the world top 20 newcomer made her breakthrough after defeating second seed Natalie Grainger, the previous year's runner-up.

"It was the best experience of my career, beating Natalie - the world No2 and the winner of the Qatar Classic before that event," continued David. "I couldn't believe it at the time and to actually step on the glass court in 2003 in Hong Kong at my first World Open semis to play Cassie was such a dream - especially the set up on the Harbour front. A lot of memories along the harbour front for me!"

David already boasts 70 Tour titles - more than any other player in the past two decades - but an appearance in the 2013 Hong Kong Open final would see the Malaysian superstar equal Australian legend Sarah Fitz-Gerald's 90 finals record.

"That'll be a nice record to match and I would feel truly honoured to come close to any records Sarah has accomplished," said the modest Malaysian, winner of a record seven World Open titles. "I personally hope I perform throughout the tournament and if I get that far then it really is a bonus!"

David begins her Hong Kong Open title defence against a qualifier, before a predicted last three rounds against English opposition: fifth seed Jenny Duncalf in the quarter-finals; No4 seed Alison Waters in the semis; before a final showdown with world No2 Laura Massaro in the final.

Official event website: www.hksquashopen.com

For all the latest WSA Tour news: wsaworldtour.com