Selby and King claim biggest career
titles in Macau By Alex Wan
The 2016 Macau Squash Open came to a close tonight with both
Daryl Selby and Joelle King claiming their
biggest career title at the glass court erected next to the
had won his title in the morning after confirmation that Max
Lee was unable to recover in time for the match tonight. He
did however, was made to sweat as he took to court against
Leo Au in a three game exhibition which he won.
ďIím absolutely delighted with this. Itís not the way I
would want to win it, but it just happened. I was very much
looking forward to play Max in front of this crown behind
him. I feel very sorry for him after what he had done
yesterday. I wish him a speedy recovery.Ē
ďI want to thank all the sponsors and people who are around
here who has been working hard to make this event for us,Ē
said Selby, who won his 12th tour title.
In the womenís, King overcame a first game deficit to beat
Annie Au, and thus breaking local hopes of a home winner.
Whilst Annie Au is from Hong Kong, they are very much
considered as locals in the community.
like the previous day, Au had started brilliantly, using a
slower pace to dictate the flow and pouncing on any half
opportunities that were presented. It was very quick points
in the beginning, with Au inching ahead to 4-2. From here
onwards, she slowly opens up a lead to 10-5 with her
delicate drops that were either winners or created better
opportunities for her to strike a winner, especially on the
front right corner, which was evident in the last point as
King scrambled to a weak return which Au finished off with a
pin point drive winner.
The rallies in the second game went on longer than they did
in the previous, as King got a hang of Auís drops and
boasts, getting to them much earlier than she did. She also
started to up the pace and soon got to a big lead to 6-1,
but would next tin the next 2 to allow Au to close the gap
6-3. However, Au would return the favour with 2 tins to 8-3.
Things took a turn here when Au found her rhythm again and
began to dictate the pace, hitting 4 winners in a row and
closing the gap to 8-7. But she couldnít maintain this and
lost the game 11-8.
the third, King once again fell behind thanks to a funny
bounce on the left side of the court. But she bounced back
with 3 winners to go 3-1 up. She was denied a let in the
next rally and it seemed to have fired her up as she began
to strike the ball a lot harder to bring up the pace. It
worked wonders as Au was struggling to keep up, falling
behind to 7-3. Au clipped the tin in the next 2 points in an
attempt to go lower for winner. King continued with the pace
in the next 2 rallies and ran away with the game 11-3.
fourth was by far the most evenly contested game, with each
player never being more than 2 points ahead. King was behind
in the first half of the game, until she took 4 points in a
row from being 5-7 down. She got to game ball at 10-8 and
would tin the next, drawing loud cheers from the crowd
rooting for Annie Au. But an unfortunate ball that found the
joint on the right side would give Joelle King a stroke, her
biggest title of her career and an 11-4 head-to-head record
against Annie Au now.
The Macau Open champion, when asked how she felt, later
said, ďIím pretty knackered actually. Iím very delighted
of course. Itís the biggest title Iíve ever won. I was a
little surprised with the (slow) pace Annie started with in
the beginning and went for it when she had the chance. Itís
very hot in there and the temperature in New Zealand is
quite different right now.Ē
ďIíve had a good time here in Macau. I even had a go in the
casino, but Iím more of an onlooker. I want to thank
everyone, the sponsors, the helpers. Everyone involved,
including the people who are here in the morning when we
come to practice.Ē
17-Sep, Semis: Menís top seeds ejected, women's top two
through ... By Alex Wan
Play moved to the glass court erected by the Macau Tower
today. Both the menís top seeds were upstaged by their lower
seeded opponents, while the womenís top seeds won
Lee of Hong Kong, winner of last yearís event, once
again defied his seeding to take out top seeded Egyptian
Marwan Elshorbagy in a match that lasted 68 minutes. The
Egyptian started way better of the two when he raced to a
5-1 lead very quickly, and then 6-2. At this point, Lee then
manages to find his range and a lengthy rally ensued. Though
he lost that rally, it was certainly the turning point of
the game as rallies were far more competitive from hereon.
Elshorbagy got to 9-6, but Lee orchestrated his way back
with some masterful performance to take 5 points in a row to
take the lead 11-9
In the second, Lee continued to dominate the rallies, always
staying ahead by a point or two until he raced to 9-4 and
then 10-5. Lee was now in overdrive and looked very
comfortable on this court. Two game points were saved before
a low forehand kill would end the game 11-7, and Lee was
The third saw Elshorbagy coming in a different player,
playing a far more aggressive style to unsettle Lee, which
worked as he got from 5-4 to 9-4 in a very quick time,
attacking every opportunity that he had. An unfortunate
stroke from a ball that hit Lee from an unnecessary shot
unsettled the defending champion further, which was then
cautioned by the referee. Elshorbagy hung on to take it 11-5
and into a fourth game.
continued his momentum from where he left off, making Lee
chase down every corner that tired him out. At 5-3, Lee
found the tin and started crouching and gasping for air
after each rally from here onwards. Itís certainly not a
normal sight of this physical machine that Lee is. Itís no
secret that at the end of the game, Lee was struggling as he
did not walk to his corner but merely sat on the steps of
the side door. 11-8 to Elshorbagy and we have a decider on
hand that surely only looked to go Elshorbagyís way given
the condition Lee was in.
Elshorbagy raced to 6-3, capitalising on Leeís exhaustion,
who was also seen limping. Lee was just returning the ball
without much purpose but each time he had an opening, tried
to finish it in the corners. It paid well, as he manages to
close the gap to 6-5, and again at 7-6 from points in the
front. He then took 4 points in a row to go 10-7 match ball
Elshorbagy catches up to 10-10, the last rally which sent
Lee onto the ground where court services was required to dry
the surface. This gave Lee some desperately needed time to
recoup. The next rally was finished off with a forehand kill
from the back and the next point went Leeís way as well to
everyoneís disbelief. Max Lee was in his second successive
Macau Open final.
ďI took a while to get started in the first game. Then
when I was 2-up, the change from day to night unsettled me
quite a bit, the ball got softer and I couldnít adapt quick
enough. Marwan also came in with a much more physical game
as you can see, a lot of body contact, which I found hard to
get used to. In the fourth, I was totally gone, I couldnít
think. I was just hitting the ball and chasing the next. My
mind was blank and I had no idea how I won it,Ē said Max
Lee, who was still struggling for his breath.
However, it is highly unfortunate that halfway through the
next match, Max would go into severe cramp and fell on the
ground crouching and screaming. So loud that Daryl Selby and
Saurav Ghosal took notice. An ambulance was eventually
called and it is uncertain if Lee will be able to play in
the final tomorrow.
the second menís semis, Daryl Selby maintained his
100% record against Saurav Ghosal after he won 8-11,
11-7, 11-4, 11-0 in 64 minutes. Selby has now won all 6 of
their meetings and maintains that none of their matches has
gone below the hour. While it is an upset on paper, it is
the Englishman who is ranked higher than Ghosal in the
current world rankings.
The first game was long as both players seem a little
cautious, never attacking much. It was Ghosal who got ahead
first, going from 6-4 to 9-4, but Selby fought back to 9-7
before tinning the next rally to go game ball down. He saves
one but would tin the next in a backhand drop attempt to go
a game down.
Selby started attacking a lot more in the next and was
rewarded with the game, in which he led from the first point
and was never behind, winning 11-7 eventually. The pace was
also higher by now and there were quite a few traffic
problems especially on the mid-length of the right side.
There were some decisions which both players would not agree
with the referees.
The traffic problems continued into the next game and here
was easily another 10 let appeals from both players. So
much, it may even have confused the referees who got the
score wrong at one point. Selby started this game well,
racing to a 5-1 lead and never looked back again, winning
the game with a drive that died at the back of the court.
In the fourth, it was a one way traffic. Ghosal seem to have
had it with the refereeing and was clearly not playing his
usual self. At 5-0, Selby played through interference and
caught Ghosal in the eye, to which a 3-minute injury break
was taken. It didnít change anything when game resumed as
Selby won all the 5 remaining rallies to close out 11-0,
with a forehand cross court volley into the nick.
ďGame down again! I have to stop this habit but again,
itís not done me any harm here so far. This is one of the
matches where I tried very hard to control the T because
Saurav is very good with his hands from the middle. Thatís
also probably why there are more decisions than usual. I hit
way better than before (in this tournament). I took the ball
to the front much better. I feel physically very good given
the conditions in there. Itís really, really hot.
I feel really sorry for Max. Itís the loudest scream Iíve
heard. He did brilliantly today to hang in. I just hope heís
Womenís top seeds to contest final
In the womenís the top seeds justified their seedings when
Joelle King beat Delia Arnold for the third time
in three months and Annie Au gave a masterclass
performance to dispatch a helpless Emily Whitlock.
King started off her match effectively, leading from 2-0 to
5-1. Arnold was playing rather passively and only when she
started attacking did she get her act together to close in
5-4. The backhand boast won her the point, and another 2 in
this game. A no let to Arnold and 2 consecutive tins would
give King the game 11-6 and the lead.
The backhand boast continues to trouble Arnold in the next
game, and so did the backhand front corner. King led for
most of the game except at 6-7, which she quickly drew level
to 7-7. A pair of no lets against Arnold was next followed
by a forehand winner to give King game ball, and yet another
no let would give her a 2-0 lead.
In the third, Arnold started with a bang as a pair of
winners would take her to 3-1. Her mistakes crept back in
and she trailed once again at 4-6 before her attacking play
get her level to 7-7. A few more winners and a tin from King
gave the Malaysian a game and a chance to force a decider.
However, King regrouped very well in the fourth and
eliminated all attacking opportunities she presented Arnold
with in the third. She took it in an emphatic fashion,
taking a 5-0 lead before dropping her first point. Then
raced onto the next 4 points to 9-1 before Arnold got a
winner, but that is all the Malaysia managed, as King wraps
up the game 11-2 and checks into the final after a quarter
of an hour.
ďApart from the third game where I allowed her back into
the game, I think I did very well. Given the conditions in
there, Iím very happy with how I did. Itís so hot in there,
itís a game you want to play smart and Iím trying to think
more. In the fourth, I got a good lead and I never looked
Whoever I play tomorrow, I have to do the same thing. Itís
still going to be a hot court, so I have to play smart
again. Iíve never played Emily before but Iíve been playing
Annie since I was a junior. Whoever it is, I hope they have
a tough match now.Ē
Kingís wish for a tough match certainly did not come true as
Annie Au produced her best performance of the tournament
tonight. In the first game, it surely did not look like
semi-final, as Au dictated the rallies so well, and was
hitting her lengths so tight, it was easy for her to finish
the ball. Whitlock took the first point, but then lost 11
points in a row.
The second started in a similar fashion, with Au continuing
to dominate, going to 4-0 and then 7-2 before things took a
turn. At 7-2 down, Whitlock gave a loud shout to herself,
asking ďwhatís going onĒ which seemed to work, as she won
rally after rally and got as close as 8-7 down. She let out
a big ďcome onĒ then, but fell just short, losing 11-9.
The third was also Annie Au all the way. She seem to play
with the confidence she had in the first game once again and
punished everything that came short or loose. There was
simply nothing Whitlock could do and it must have been
downright frustrating for the 22 year old Englishwoman,
whoís doing all the work but had nothing to show. Au won the
game 11-3 and sets a final date with Joelle King tomorrow.
ďI started off unbelievably well in the first 2 games. I
was especially sharper than I thought and I was able to
dictate the rallies. I came into this match well prepared so
I knew I had to play well, which I did. Itís probably easier
than I expected, I certainly did not expect straight games.
But the second was crucial. She came back strongly and
thankfully I managed to win that, which helped with my
confidence coming into the third.Ē
16-Sep, Quarters: Top seeds through to the
semis in Macau By Alex Wan
Play opened for the day with menís and womenís top seeds
facing their eight seeded opponents. All matches went to
seeding today after several upsets the day before.
With today being a public holiday in conjunction with the
Chinese mid-autumn festival, the stands in the Centro de
Bowling were filled with squash enthusiasts.
the menís, top seed Marwan Elshorbagy took four games
to overcome Alan Clyne. After taking the first game with 4
points to spare 11-7, the second proved to be a much tougher
challenge. For part of the game, Elshorbagy had to play
catch up. Clyne got to 9-8 but then lost 3 straight points,
including a harsh no let at 9-9.
Clyne found his shots coming in the third and hit many
winners in the third, taking the lead from 3-3 and never
looking back, finishing off the game with a low backhand
crosscourt that had so much cut on it, you could hear the
In the fourth, the world number 7 accelerated the pace and
this got him rewarded with many more opportunities to go
short. He did so effectively, especially in the front left
corner, to which many times, Clyne was denied a let, which
naturally left him unhappy.
The fourth was quick, Elshorbagy racing to a 6-1, 7-3 and
then 11-4 to book his place on the glass court by the Macau
ďMuch better from me today. Iím especially happy with how
I started and I had a good lead in each game. I lost a
little concentration in the second game but I managed to
come back to close it. In the third, Alan just played
especially well and I feel he was trying to speed up the
game. In the fourth I just told myself to be less passive.
Iím happy to get through and looking forward to that glass
court tomorrow,Ē Marwan Elshorbagy said after his match.
champion Max Lee exacted his revenge on Malaysian
Ivan Yuen, whom he lost to in his own backyard at the HKFC
International back in May this year. In a match spanning
over 53 minutes, there were moments of brilliances from both
players. The match was also no short of drama with Yuen
diving all over the court, to the point he needed an injury
Having taken out Leeís compatriot Leo Au the day before, Lee
was wary that Yuen was playing some good squash. Overall,
Yuen did play some good squash Ė when his concentration was
there and not on many occasions, when he wasnít questioning
the refereesí decisions.
Apart from the second game which Yuen won, all the other
games went in similar fashion. It would all be competitive,
point for point to a certain stage, and then Lee would
string a series of points to open up a huge gap and in the
case of the first game, close it out with a single hand.
ďAs I said yesterday, itís never easy with Ivan. His
forehand volley cross court nicks is like 100% success rate.
He just tries for winners from everywhere, so I just had to
play a patient game and pick up whatever he threw at me. Iím
looking forward to another match. Iíll be playing Marwan,
heís a top ten player so I donít have any expectations.Ē
Ivan Yuen had lost, there was still hope that Nafiizwan
Adnan would once again turn the tables to gate crash the
semis (Adnan beat Omar Mosaad in the quarters last year). He
did start very well indeed against 4th seed Daryl Selby,
taking the first game 11-7 with a masterful display of
dictating the pace. He then went to 10-8 in the second and
things looked promising for the Malaysian. A no let got
Selby within a point to force the tie break, after which
Adnan slams a forehand into the tin, which he was intended
for the nick. A huge ďcome onĒ came from Selby who then
saved yet another game point before taking it 13-11.
By this stage of the match, there has already been a number
of questionable decisions from the referee which both the
players have questioned, especially on the consistency of
decisions. This trend continues in the following two games,
both which Selby won 11-7 and 11-8, which sends him into the
ďI was trying not to have a bad start but I did again.
Itís a tough court to play well in. Itís just one of those
days I had to grind it out both mentally and physically. I
was struggling with pretty much everything today and
Nafiizwan hit some good winners in the first. Iím happy to
win of course and looking forward to the glass court
tomorrow, somewhere Iím a lot more comfortable in. Iím
seeded to get into the semis so anything beyond this is a
bonus," said the world number 19.
Selbyís opponent tomorrow will be Saurav Ghosal, who
beat best friend and roommate Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu in
the last match of the day, which was also unsurprisingly
marred by many interactions with the referees.
both the players know each other so well, it was bound to be
a close one and the first game was evident of that, with
Ghosal just doing enough at the end to squeeze through 11-9.
The second game saw Ghosal open up a gap, which he will not
lose and at 10-6, the ball bounced off the left wall so wide
it came to the middle, to which Singh Sandhu stopped as a
safety precaution, only to be shockingly denied a let. Mind
you, the ball was nearly waist high.
Ghosal seem to have lost some concentration in the third as
he allowed his opponent to dictate the rallies and fizzled
out very quickly 3-11. He came back strongly in the fourth,
opening up a 2-point lead at 3-1 and never falling behind
again, winning it 11-8 and the match in over 64 minutes.
Annie wins battle of Hong Kong
and left handers
Au won the highly anticipated battle of the top Hong
Kong ladies with a clinical performance that Joey Chan
simply had no answer to. Using her signature lobs and drops,
she sent Chan scurrying all over the court and her
anticipation of what Chan was going to do next was spot on
In all the games, Au took big leads, including the third
game which she lost 10-12, despite leading 6-1. Chan was
simply dictated from the word go and there was not much she
could do today. Simply clinical stuff from the world number
will play Emily Whitlock tomorrow in the semi-finals
after the 22 year old from Macclesfield beat Aussie Donna
Urquhart in straight games. Itís certainly a match the
Aussie lefty would love to forget as she led 5-1 in all
three games, but never converted.
Credit to Whitlock for her discipline on court as she stuck
to her usual simple game and not be drawn into trying
something radical despite being behind. Her perseverance
earned her a place tomorrow on the glass court after an
11-9, 11-8, 11-9 in 34 minutes.
ďI was behind in all three games. I didnít panic and I
thought if I caught up and so long I imposed my game plan,
weíd have a game. It wasnít a bad start from me, just that
she had a good start.
Iíve been here three times. The first time I had to play
qualifying and got into the main draw, last year I was in
the quarters and Iím now in the semis. So I have good
memories here, Iím always improving,Ē said Emily on her
the upper half of the draw, Joelle King overcame a
one game deficit to beat roommate Line Hansen in four. The
27 year old from New Zealand was surprised in the opening
game by a very sharp Hansen, who dictated the rallies from
start to finish of the game. As Ivan Yuen (who was next to
me) would say, ďLine is killing it.Ē
King came back in the second with a lot more precision in
her shots and earned an 11-5 game. In the third, King broke
away to 5-2 before the Dane took 4 points in a row to take
the lead 6-5. She then blew this away when she lost 4 quick
points from 7-7 to give King the overall lead.
It was rather similar in the next, as Hansen lost some easy
points from 5-5 much to her frustration, which she shouts
out at 5-9. The 4-point gap was now too far for Hansen to
chase and after 48 minutes, King was into the semi-finals.
Despite the loss, Hansen took it all in her stride and was
all smiles, ďI thought it was a good match. I really
enjoyed myself out there. I knew it was going to be tough
and I thought I had my chances, but I missed those
opportunities with some bad decisions.Ē
Joelle King, meanwhile, paid tribute to her friend, ďI
thought Line played very well. Itís probably the best sheís
played against me. I struggled to see the ball in the first
and couldnít judge the timing so well. Itís never easy
playing my roommate, and weíre more than that, weíre
friends. We just got to forget that for the moment and get
things done. Iím looking forward to the glass courts
King will next face Malaysiaís Delia Arnold who took
out hard hitting Egyptian teenager Mayar Hany in straight
games. Arnold started off really well with some inch perfect
finishing that Hany had no answer to. From the start, Arnold
was hitting the ball low and caught Hany on many occasions,
allowing her a 5-1 lead. Hany did some catching up and at
7-9, Arnold next returned 2 consecutive serves into the tin.
She recomposed herself, and was able to close out 11-9 for
She continued her momentum in the next two games, which was
enough to see her through into the semis, her best results
in the Macau Open.
The Malaysian said afterwards, ďI came well prepared for
today. Playing an up and coming young Egyptian, itís always
dangerous. There has been a few upsets here as well, so I
was wary of that. I watched some of her videos yesterday and
did some analysis coming into the match. I started off a
little tensed but it got more comfortable along the way.
Iíve played in Macau for a few times already and this is my
best performance already, so Iím happy.Ē
15-Sep, Round One
Round One in Macau full report to follow
Malaysian World No.53 Ivan Yuen bridged a 28-place World
Rankings gap to defeat Hong Kongís Leo Au to reach the quarter-final stage of a
$50k tournament for
the first time in his career.
Despite being ranked below fifth seed Au for much of the past
five years, Yuen led the head-to-head record 3-1 coming into the
duoís Macau Open encounter, and the man from Penang came out on
top once more, with an 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 victory in 72
minutes seeing him progress to the last eight.
Yuen will line up against defending champion Max Lee for a place
in the semi-final after Lee overcame Tsz Fung Yip by a 3-1
Swiss number six seed Nicolas Mueller was the other seeded
player to bow out on the first day of main draw action in the
Menís event after he lost out to Indian qualifier Harinder Pal
Sandhu 3-1. A quarter-final meeting against compatriot
Saurav Ghosal awaits Sandhu, with Ghosal seeing off Elvinn Keo
in straight games to seal his place in the next round.
Meanwhile, pre-tournament title favourite Marwan ElShorbagy got
off to a winning start, recovering from a game down to defeat
Australiaís Rex Hedrick, and the Bristol-based World No.7 will
lock horns with Scotlandís Alan Clyne, who overcame English
qualifier Joshua Masters in a five-game contest.
Englandís World No.19 Daryl Selby and Malaysian No.1 Nafiizwan
Adnan will clash in the other quarter-final fixture after they
achieved respective triumphs against Welshman Joel Makin and
wildcard Steven Liu.
Elsewhere, Egyptian qualifier Mayar Hany dispatched compatriot
Heba El Torky in the Womenís event to set up a quarter-final
meeting with Malaysiaís Delia Arnold, who eased past wildcard
Liu Kwai Chi.
There were also first round wins for the likes of Joelle King,
Annie Au and Emily Whitlock. King downed South Africaís Siyoli
Waters to set up a fixture with Denmarkís Line Hansen, while
Hong Kongís Au defeated Franceís Coline Aumard to ensure that
she will play compatriot Joey Chan.
Whitlock, meanwhile, stormed to victory against Egyptian 16-year-old
Hana Moataz and will contest her quarter-final match with
Australian No.1 Donna Urquhart.
14-Sep, Qualifying Finals MEN: Elvinn Keo gets his biggest
break By Alex Wan
Elvinn Keo secured the biggest win of his career when he
outclassed his higher raked Australian opponent Joshua Larkin.
Playing far better than he did in the previous round, Keo
dictated the rallies from the start and it was the Aussie who
was doing most of the work from corner to corner.
Keoís patience on court today was evident and he was rewarded
with a place in the main draw with an 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 win after
Itís also worth a mention that his flamboyant did come into play
in the end, where he finished the match with a forehand slam
into the nick and on match point, a topspin backhand drop way
beyond Larkinís reach.
ďI donít look as excited, but right now, Iím on cloud nine
inside. This is my biggest win and into my first $50k event
(main draw). Iíve won a $5k and a semis in a $10k, but this
beats them all.Ē
asked what was different with his game today, the 28 year old
Penang native said: ďI got more used to the court compared to yesterday and Iíve
never played Joshua before, so I was a lot more focussed on my
"I was disciplined and focussed throughout the match, being more
patient and kept the pressure up. I had to keep myself calm
throughout as I have a tendency to lead, then fall behind and
having to chase again.Ē
Masters was the first to check into the main draw when he
beat a stubborn Ko Youngjo of Korea. Both men contrast in
size but it was Masters, the bigger of the two seem to have done
more painful work in the court.
Masters started well and in quick fire time, he went from 4-2 to
8-3 up before the Korean came back up to a point at 9-8 before
the Masters got to game point with a low backhand kill, after
which he would convert after a no let decision went against Ko.
next two games were split one each, Masters winning the first to
go 2-up before Ko hit a patch of brilliance with some very sharp
finishing to win the next 11-5.
The fourth game was neck to neck most of the time and Masters
would eventually clinch it on a tie break 12-10.
Harinder Pal Singh and
James Huang played the last
match of the afternoon and before the match begun, a referee had
commented that this was going to go all the way and anything
less than an hour would be considered short.
True to his words, it went to five games and lasted a little
longer than ďshortĒ Ė 61 minutes to be exact. Both Sandhu and
Huang are known to chase the ball down very well and so the
rallies were mostly long.
It was definitely not the most pleasing match to watch but the
athleticism of both is surely a sight to behold.
In the end, it was Sandhu who would walk out in victory over the
Hong Kong based Taiwanese.
The last to check into the main draw was Joel Makin, but
he was surely also the quickest. Additionally, he must also be
one of the most ďefficientĒ qualifiers in history as he dropped
only a single point in qualifying - after giving local Vang Keng
Hei a beating at the loss of the single point yesterday, his
opponent today, Hong Kongís Wong Chi Him, withdrew from the
match after falling ill.
WOMEN: Three more Egyptians in main
It is not often to see only a single Egyptian in the main draw
of an event of this size Ė in this instance, Heba El-Torky,
the seventh seed. However, all three Egyptians won their matches
today to join their more illustrious compatriot tomorrow.
on was qualifying top seed Mayar Hany, who took out Hong
Kongís top junior Bubble Lui in just 21 minutes. While
the duration may indicate an easy game, it had its ups and downs
as both players were playing well in patches.
After winning the first two games rather comfortable, Lui came
back down impressively to snatch the third game 11-4. Playing
some very clever squash, she orchestrated her rallies to set up
her chances which she deftly finished off.
However, in the following game, the Hong Kong junior had a
disastrous start and in no time found herself trailing 0-8 after
Hany found her range once again to completely assert her ways.
While Lui staged a comeback, it was a little too far to catch up
and it was 11-4, 11-6, 4-11 and 11-5 to the Egyptian.
Hana Moataz then made it two Egyptians when she upset
South African Cheyna Tucker, the qualifying third seed
and world number 69, in straight games. The first two games went
in similar fashion with both players never more than two points
apart up to 6-6, and the Egyptian would break away to 11-6.
The third game was the most exciting as rallies would now be
longer and the points going to either player more equally. It
took six tie breaks from 10-10 before the game, and match was
decided after Moataz, the world number 85 finished off with a
low cross court backhand kill.
Abbas then made it three out of three for Egypt after she
won the battle of the teenagers. Her opponent, Hong Kongís 15
year old Chan Sin Yuk, had a day earlier had took out
But today, the 16-year old from Giza made sure that did not
happen. Abbas took three games to seal her place in the next
round, but the opening and third game were close.
Abbas had dictated the flow of play for a big part of the match
but Chan did respond with some brilliant kills of her own, often
from the forehand side aimed low, but again it just wasnít
In the last match of the ladies event, Siyoli Waters of
South Africa ousted Carmen Lee of Hong Kong in straight
games. After a competitive first game and a little in the
second, it was pretty evident that the 24 year old Lee was not
match fit and would concede the third game tamely.
The poster girl Lee said later:
ďI havenít trained for a while now that Iíve stopped playing
professionally. I played alright but I just donít have the
fitness anymore. Iím happy with how I played in the first game,
but not after that.Ē
MEN: Seeds safely through - locals
all crash out. By Alex Wan
The first two games on the centre court featured University of
Bristol students, Joshua Masters and Stu Hadden.
Masters, fresh from the World University Champs in Kuala Lumpur
last week, faced Hong Kong number 6 Henry Leung. The 21
year old from Maidstone had a comfortable first game, in which
he dominated the T with all of his 6í1 height and ending many
rallies with low kills.
he found himself truly challenged in the second game and was
behind in the first half of the game. However, he recovered from
4-6 down to squeeze through 11-9 after a rather physical last
few points. He was in control again in the third game, racing to
a 10-5 and eventually winning 11-8.
ďI eased off a little after the first game and lost a bit of
the lengths. Iíve seen some of his drops so I knew it wasnít
going to be easy. I have to thank Marwan (Elshorbagy) for his
coaching in between my games,Ē said the Englishman.
Ko Youngjo made easy work of Irelandís Hadden, who
started the more aggressive one, striking the ball with all his
might. The pace seem to have favoured Ko, who was moving
gracefully in comparison. Right from the first game, Koís
tighter drives and more effective shot selections was way above
his Irish opponent.
23 minutes was all it took Ko to book his place in the next
round against Joshua Masters, and thus preventing an all-Bristol
Malaysiaís Elvinn Keo, the qualifying
seventh seed from Penang, made it to the qualifying finals at
the expense of Indiaís Ravi Dixit. Keo was in cruise
control in the first two games with his deft touches, especially
to the front left corner, dropping just 6 points in total.
third was more competitive but Keo was always in control in the
first half of it. But things took a turn from 4-6 onwards as
Dixit inched his way to 11-9 to force a fourth game, which was
close and Keo was forced to save two game balls, before winning
13-11. It must have been a relief for the Malaysian, who later
said he felt his heart racing midway through the second game.
Local interest for the locals in the menís event kicked off with
15 year old Leung Teng Chi, who took to court against
Aussie world number 90 Joshua Larkin. The 26 year old
from Sydney was dominant right from the start, exerting a high
paced tempo which his young opponent never settled into. 14
minutes was all it took for Larkin to book his place tomorrow
for a shot into the main draw against Keo.
Match of the day has to belong to
HarinderPal Sandhu of
India and Hong Kongís Tang Ming Hong. While their world
ranking would suggest a gap in playing standards Ė 79 for the
Indian and 156 for Hongkie, but the match was anything but.
The Indian had started off effectively, hitting the ball with a
lot more purpose than his opponent, leading from 4-3 and then
opening up a 4-point gap to 8-4 before closing it 11-5 thanks a
tin from Tang.
Tang soon got his A-game and found himself taking the lead 8-4
in the second, before Singh Sandhu hit a few winners to draw
level 8-8. An exciting rally ensued where both men took turns on
the attack and defence that ended in favour to Tang. A no let
followed by a backhand flick that sent Singh Sandhu the wrong
way drew things level, and Tang did not hide his delight with a
huge ďYesĒ on his way out of the door.
The third and the fourth was just breath taking athleticism from
both the players; Tang probably a little more. Both games went
the distance and twice, it was the Indian who scrapped through
marginally, earning himself at least another day of play.
The manner in which Tang chases down every ball in the final
rally was as quick and fresh as it was in the very first point.
Singh Sandhu might have been in more control most of the time,
but the retrieval ability of Tang was a joy to watch. It must
also be mentioned that Singh Sandhuís perseverance in not
rushing to end the rallies probably won him the big points.
started off well, hitting good lengths and varying the pace. In
the second half, I relaxed a little and thatís when things got
more difficult. There were more loose shots and he was able to
"I used my experience to stay in the rallies a little longer
(after the second game), be more patient and in the end it paid
off for me,Ē said Macau Open debutant Sandhu later.
James Huang also made it to the next round when he
recovered from a one game deficit to beat Jordanís Ahmad
Alsaraj. The lanky Jordanian started off well, catching
Huang so often with his crafty style of play and taking the
The next two games, Huang was a little more familiar with what
was coming or what could possibly come. His experience on the
tour showed as he was more patient in the rallies, working out
the younger Al-Saraj. He won both the games deservingly and in
the fourth, Al-Saraj was simply out of breath and lost tamely
last two matches of the evening featured 15-year old locals Manuel Chan Gassmann who faced Hong Kongís
Wong Chi Him
and Van Keng Hei who had Welsh Joel Makin for
Both matches lasted identical 16 minutes and were one sided.
Wong won in 1, 4 and 1, while Malkin was more ruthless, dropping
just a single point in the opening game.
WOMEN: Teenagers steal the show
A trio of 15 year olds featured in the womenís qualifying today,
of which two came out triumphant over their more illustrious
A trio of 15 year olds featured in the womenís qualifying
today, of which two came out triumphant over their more
Kongís Bubble Lui was first on court and ousted seventh
seed Yura Choi of Korea. While it may be an upset on
paper, the result did not come as a complete surprise to many.
The Hong Kong 15 year old started with a bang, opening up a big
lead right from the start and wrapped up 11-3 before Choi could
The more experienced Korean then tightened up her game and the
following two games were both equally tight, which ended split
between the pair. The two games took its toll on the Korean as
she was a spent force in the fourth game, going from 1-5 down
and eventually losing 5-11.
Chan Siu Yuk, a relatively unknown 15 year old from Hong
Kong next took out Egyptian Farah Momen, the 8th seed in
qualifying. It was a match that saw both players having streaks
of brilliances followed by a string of errors.
who hits the ball with brute force most of the time, troubling
the petite 15 year old with the ferocious pace in the beginning.
But Chan would settle into the game and Momen would find the tin
consecutively, before squeezing through.
The trend continues in the next 3 games, with the only
difference being Chan would walk out the winner in all three to
book her place in the next round. She will face another
Egyptian, Nada Abbas tomorrow, for a place in the main draw.
Hana Moataz, the 16 year old from Egypt took to court
against local player Yeung Weng Chi, who is a year her
junior. While they may be close in age, their standard of play
was clearly a mismatch. The world number 85 walked out a winner
at a loss of only 7 points over 15 minutes.
The Macau Open 2016 returns to the PSA World Tour
calendar once again, running for the fifth consecutive year
since 2011. The 2016 edition will offer $50,000 on-site prize
money and bonuses in both the menís and womenís categories.
The event will be held from 13 to 18 September 2016 and
is organised by the Macau Squash Association with support from
the Macao Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government.
Egyptís world #7 Marwan Elshorbagy and
Indiaís world #21 Saurav Ghosal lead the pack in the
menís event. Defending champion Max Lee of Hong Kong is
the third seed and will be looking to continue his great start
to the season after reaching the semi-finals of the World Series
Hong Kong Open last month. Englandís Daryl Selby, who
will be playing in his second Macau Open, complete the top
In the womenís event, Joelle King of New Zealand returns
to Macau as the top seed ahead of Hong Kongís Annie Au in
second spot. The top seeded pair met in the quarter finals of
this event a year ago with the Hong Kong number one coming out
victorious. World #18 and #15 Delia Arnold of Malaysia
and Emily Whitlock of England are seeded three and four
local challenge at the event will once again be spearheaded by
siblings Steven and Ivy Liu, the national champions of
Macau who will both face Malaysian opponents in Nafiizwan Adnan
and Delia Arnold.
The Macau pair will also be joined by their younger counterparts
who will play in the qualifying rounds - 15 year old Yeung
Weng Chi in the womenís and Van Keng Hei, Manuel
Chan Gassmann and Leung Teng Chi in the menís.
The qualifying rounds will take place on the 13th and 14th of
September, with the main draw matches following from the 15th
onwards at the at the Bowling Centre located at Avenida
da Nave Desportiva.
The semi finals and final, will be played at the glass court
that will be erected on PraÁa Do Lago Sai Van.
The Macau Squash Open 2016 press conference was held where the
draw was officially released to the local media.
at the press conference today were Mr. Wu Lao Ut (Head of
Sport Development, Macau Sports Bureau), Mr. William Kuan
(Chairman, Macau Squash Association), Mr. Victor Hoi
(Vice President, Macau Squash Association), Mr. Kenneth Lei,
the tournament director, and assistant tournament directors, Mr. Armando Amante and
Mr. Lim Chee Ming.
In conjunction with the 2016 Macau Squash Open, there will be a
Macau Squash Charity Carnival held at the PraÁa Do Lago
Sai Van on 17 and 18 September between 1 -6 pm before the
matches in aid of the Macau Autism Association.