One upset, one home win, two top seeds through in Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open 2012
Tue 27th Nov, Day Three: Round One, Top Half

One upset, one home win, two top seeds through at Hong Kong Squash Centre

Qualifying complete, it was time for the ‘big guns’ to enter the fray, with the top half of the men’s and women’s draws at Hong Kong Squash Centre.

It was a long day with a past midnight finish which saw a solitary upset, a solitary home winner and both top seeds and defending champions safely through.

Men’s Round One, Top Half:
[1] James Willstrop (Eng) 3-1 Adrian Grant (Eng) 5/11, 11/8, 11/3, 11/8 (73m)
Ong Beng Hee (Mas) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col) 9/11, 11/5, 11/9 …
Borja Golan (Esp) 3-0 [Q] Joe Lee (Eng) 11/7, 11/5, 11/2 (50m)
[8] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) 3-0 [Q] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) 11/8, 11/5, 14/12 (38m)
[6] Peter Barker (Eng) 3-1 [Q] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 7/11, 11/6, 11/5, 11/6 (44m)
Cameron Pilley (Aus) 3-2 [Q] Chris Simpson (Eng) 11/8, 11/8, 10/12, 5/11, 11/8 (82m)
Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-2 Alister Walker (Bot) 9/11, 11/8, 11/8, 8/11, 11/8 (95m)
[4] Karim Darwish (Egy) 3-0 Leo Au (Hkg) 12/10, 11/6, 11/9 (34m)

Women’s Round One, Top Half:
[1] Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 Sarah Kippax (Eng) 11/2, 11/5, 11/5 (23m)
Joey Chan (Hkg) 3-1 [Q] Kylie Lindsay (Nzl) 8/11, 11/4, 11/7, 11/9 (40m)
[5] Madeline Perry (Irl) 3-0 [Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (Nzl) 11/6, 11/6, 11/3 (19m)
Kasey Brown (Aus) 3-0 [Q] Lauren Briggs (Eng) 11/8, 11/2, 11/6 (31m)
[3] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) 3-0 Delia Arnold (Mas) 11/9, 11/9 , 11/9 (40m)
Dipika Pallikal (Ind) 3-1 Liu Tsz-Ling (Hkg) 7/11, 11/6, 11/1, 11/5 (34m)
[8] Natalie Grinham (Ned) 3-0 [Q] Heba El Torky (Egy) 11/7, 11/5, 11/4 (28m)
[Q] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) 3-2 Samantha Teran (Mex) 10/12, 11/9, 11/8, 5/11, 11/6 (78m)

Day Three Roundup

The first round of the 2012 edition of the Hong Kong Open kicked off at 13.30 on Hong Kong Squash Centre’s Centre Court, with 10 matches scheduled for play at 45-minute intervals, and six on the ‘upstairs’ court nine from 16.30. Unsurprisingly the day ran late.

The first match immediately put the schedule into disarray as Cameron Pilley became the first player through to round two after a marathon 82-minute five-game victory over England’s Chris Simpson. The tall Australian took the first two games and although Simpson, a qualifier, struck back to level, it was Pilley who dominated the fifth to progress.

In the next round he’ll meet English sixth seed Peter Barker, who came from a game down to beat another qualifier, young Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad.

The tin was then lowered as the ladies took to the court. Third seed Jenny Duncalf edged past Malaysia’s Delia Arnold in three close games, and India’s Dipika Pallikal came from a game down to deny HK wildcard Liu Tsz-Ling.

On the upstairs courts Natalie Grinham beat qualifier Heba El Torky in straight games, the Dutch former world number two playing with increased confidence as the match went on.

Following on from that match, Nicolette Fernandes created the first upset of the day as the Guyanese qualifier downed Samantha Teran in a gruelling 78-minute five setter of unrelentingly tough rallies.

Back on the showcourt, Daryl Selby came through a high-quality but brutal marathon against Alister Walker, taking it in five after 95 minutes, but Karim Darwish took a third of that time in despatching wildcard Leo Au in his usual efficient early-round manner, although the fourth seed needed to save a game ball in the first.

Borja Golan was similarly efficient as he beat qualifier Joe Lee in three, and Mohamed El Shorgagy similarly despatched his qualifier Ryan Cuskelly, although the eighth seed needed extra points to clinch the third.

Back on the glass court, Joey Chan provided the last chance of home success for today, but fell behind to Kiwi qualifier Kylie Lindsay. The left-hander rallied to take the next two games and survived a nervy ending as Lindsay saved four match balls but couldn’t quite catch up in the fourth.

By now we were two hours behind schedule, but the finals three women’s matches alleviated things somewhat as Madeline Perry beat Amanda Landers-Murphy in 19 minutes and Kasey Brown despatched Lauren Briggs in 31.

They’ll meet for a place in the quarter-finals, as will Chan and Nicol David after the Malaysian top seed eased past Sarah Kippax in 23 minutes to record a 36th consecutive win in Hong Kong, setting up what is sure to be a noisy second round on Wednesday.

That left two men’s matches to go on the showcourt, starting with an all-English match between defending champion James Willstrop and Adrian Grant.

Grant took the lead in an attritional first game but the world number one bounced back to take the next tow, and to claw back from a deficit in the fourth to take the match.

Three hours after their scheduled time, at 11.15, Ong Beng Hee and Miguel Angel Rodriguez started the last match of the day, which naturally went the distance as the Malaysian prevailed in five games to set up a last sixteen meeting with Willstrop.

Full coverage, including match reports, player quotes, updated main draws and daily photo galleries:

www.squashsite.co.uk/hk

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