The semi-finals of the 7th Crocodile Cup Challenge saw upsets in both of the WISPA $16k matches as, to the delight of the home crowd at Hong Kong Squash Centre, local favourite Joey Chan set up a final against India’s Dipika Pallikal.
Fourth-seeded Chan, who produced two stunning upsets to reach the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open last month just days after winning the Macau Open, continued her rich vein of form as she took out Australian top seed Donna Urquhart instraight games 11/6, 12/10, 11/9.
Pallikal, another youngster on the rise as indicated by her run to the quarter-finals of the World Open in Rotterdam, also needed just three games as she despatched English second seed Sarah Kippax 11/6, 11/3, 11/6.
There were no such upsets in the PSA $10k men’s semi-finals, but drama there certainly was.
Top seed and defending champion Max Lee beat compatriot Dick Lau, as he had done in last year’s final, 11/0, 11/3, 11/7 to guarantee home interest in both finals, where he will meet Malaysia’s third seeded Muhd Asyraf Azan.
Azan also faced a compatriot, but after two marathon victories in previous rounds today’s match was just too much for Ivan Yuen, who was forced to retire at 10/6 down in the fifth suffering with cramp, after 101 minutes of action (for a total of 240 on-court minutes in three matches!).
 Joey Chan (Hkg) bt  Donna Urquhart (Aus) 11/6, 12/10, 11/9 (31m)
 Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt  Sarah Kippax (Eng) 11/6, 11/3, 11/6 (29m)
 Max Lee (Hkg) bt  Dick Lau (Hkg) 11/0, 11/3, 11/7 (28m)
 Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas) bt Ivan Yuen (Mas) 12/10, 7/11, 9/11, 11/4, 10/6 rtd (101m)