Macau Open 2017

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Macau Open 2017
19-24 Sep, Macau, $50k x2

21-Sep, Round ONE
Adel takes out top seed Welily
as Kandra qualifies for the quarters

Alex Wan reports

In the opening day of the main draw of the Macau Squash Open, top seed and world number two Raneem El Welily suffered a shock defeat at the hands of giant killing compatriot Yathreb Adel. Comeback kid Adel, who’s playing in her first event since January 2016, prevailed in a see saw match that saw both players taking turns to dominate different parts of the match.

In the first Raneem had come back from 0-3 down to win 11-4, winning 7 points in a row to close the game. The second saw Yathreb winning the game 11-7, but from just two runs of points. The third was completely Raneem’s game as she showed her flair and not making a single mistake. She won 11 points straight from 0-1 down.

In the next two games, the scores were close and both players were never more than three or four points apart. Yathreb’s patience and resilience eventually paying off as she scores the biggest upset of the day.

The 21 year old world number 229 was clearly elated with her win:

“I can’t believe it! Since I was injured, it’s been tough and I’m just very, very happy to be back playing squash. Raneem is one of my role models and it’s never easy playing her of course. I came here with no expectations and no pressure at all. Winning this match surely will give me a lot of confidence and a huge push for myself to go for it in the next round.”

Defending champion Joelle King of New Zealand started her defence well with a straight games win Egyptian Nadine Shahin. The Kiwi was given a tough start by the hard hitting Egyptian and was 7-10 down in the first. A run of five straight points saved the game for the Kiwi who now led.

In the second and third, the games were both tight, but it was Joelle who would nudge slightly ahead and kept the lead till the end.

“I played pretty alright. I don’t get to play these younger Egyptians often and they’re all very good. I’m glad to have come off 3-0. Nadine puts in some good shots and puts the pressure on you. I was 3 game balls down and I’m glad to have won that one. The first game is always important.”

“I am only the fourth seed here so even though I’m the defending champion, I’m the underdog here. It’s an all new tournament anyway and I love coming here. It’s close to New Zealand!” Joelle added when asked how she felt coming back as the defending champion.

In the all-Aussie showdown, Donna Urquhart took four very friendly games to take out former world number one Rachael Grinham. The pair, who make a very formidable doubles pairing, played in a way all referees dream of. There were no need for difficult calls, no fishing of lets and whatsoever.

Donna explained later, “Rachael’s my team mate and doubles partner. It’s a shame we had to play each other so early in the competition. It’s difficult to be competitive and have that fighting spirit when you play someone that close sometimes, and today I struggled with it. We’ve played many of times and it took me a long time to get over the respect I have for her. I love her game and I have lots of respect for her.”

Things were not as friendly in the following match as Mariam Metwally took to court against Mayar Hany. The pair of 20-year old hard hitters fought tooth and nail in a match that went to the wire. It wasn’t the most pleasant one to watch as every other rally seem to end up with someone asking for a let, with more than half of those being denied.

The pair split the first two games, with each one finishing strongly towards the end to wrap up with a series of points. Mariam took the third with a strong finish in the end once again and was 10-7 up in the fourth. She blew all of them off and a tin brought the score level to 10-all. Another tin gave Mayar game ball which she converted the first time asking. In the decider, Mariam once again finished strongly, stringing together six straight points from 5-all to earn a place in the last eight tomorrow.

Tesni Evans of Wales also booked her quarters berth after winning a 3-1 battle against former world number two Jenny Duncalf. After falling to a two game deficit, with the second being a tie-breaker, Jenny came back strongly to take the third 11-8. She even played well to stay in the fourth, but at 8-8., Tesni manages to win three points in a row to seal the match 11-8.

Seventh seed Joey Chan won the all-Hong Kong battle, beating qualifier Vanessa Chu in four games to progress, while compatriot Annie Au had an easy afternoon against local wild card Liu Kwai Chi, who was dissatisfied with her performance today, citing “I had prepared myself to play with Annie, but when she started to play at a slower pace and put in all her lobs, that threw me off a little. I feel I could do better, but I’m just not very happy with myself today.”

In the battle of the world junior champions Nouran Gohar, the world number five came out tops after a four game battle against pint-sized Rowan Elaraby. But it was nothing easy at all as her younger compatriot played with no evident fear and matched her hard-hitting opponent rally for rally.

While the pace of Nouran’s shots were a handful to handle, Rowan’s flair on court and deft touches would inflict the harm to Nouran. Four close games and a number of tough refereeing decisions later, Nouran was through in 52 minutes for a last eight berth against Welsh Tesni Evans.

“Rowan has just won the World Juniors and she’s beaming with confidence, the girl has no fear right now. She’s also had a few PSA events so she knows what to expect. It’s good that I had such a tough match to start off with. Even though Raneem is out, it doesn’t change anything for me. It just shows how much depth we have in the women’s game these days. I just have to be aggressive from the start and stay hungry,” said Gohar, the second seed.

Kandra joins seven seeds in men's quarters

In the men’s, top seed Simon Rosner was in devastating form as he took out English qualifier Joshua Masters in straight games. The lanky German was always in front and never allowed Joshua to lead, eventually wrapping the match in 34 minutes.

The German world number 11 said, “I am happy with the way I played today. I did well and concentrated all the way. I’m happy to get through in three. It’s my first trip to Macau, and also first time top seed in a $50k.”

Omar Mosaad, the 2013 champion, was fully tested by Indian qualifier Harinder Pal Sandhu. After taking an easy first game for the loss of just a single point, Omar was surprised by a rejuvenated Harinder who took the second game. The next two games went one way each, but the decider was a tame affair with the “Hammer of Thor” exerting his powerful shots to romp home 11-2.

Fellow Egyptian Omar Abdel Meguid also made it into the last eight with a straightforward 3-0 win against England’s Chris Simpson.

Things were not as straightforward for last year’s semi-finalist Saurav Ghosal who battled back from two games down to win a thriller in badly umpired game. Not taking away anything from Saurav’s opponent Mazen Gamal who played well to his advantage, but there were far too many calls that even a novice referee would’ve gotten right. Twice in the second game, Saurav requested for a change of referee, but was denied. It didn’t help that the decisions were in the hands of a single referee system which was being used for this event.

However, the Indian’s experience eventually kicked in and slowly, but surely, he did what was necessary to chalk up a great comeback win. Ever the professional he is, he should be given credit for the way he handled the situation so well.

“Personally, I didn’t play as well as I should, especially in the beginning. It was difficult mentally to focus given the circumstances like you saw out there. I am glad I managed to turn things around and carve my way out of that deep spot. Credit to Mazen, he took advantage of the situation and played well throughout,” Saurav said.

Ivan Yuen blew a 10-4 lead in the first game in his straight game loss to Hong Kong’s Yip Tsz Fung. With less than 10 places separating the pair in the rankings, this had the promise of a close one. Ivan had started very well, playing patiently and waiting for his opportunities to attack, which more often than not were lethal. However, after taking a huge lead to 10-4, he seemed to have lost his concentration a little as it went to 10-10 through several easy errors in quick succession, with the last one being a tin. Ivan managed to save 2 game balls before bowing out 12-14.

The loss of that game was costly as the effects of that is evident into the following game, where Yip raced to a 7-0 lead. Ivan manages to get back to 3-9 and 5-10, but the damage at the start of the game was too much to catch up. In the third, Yip breezed through once again; 6-1 then 8-3, but Ivan came back to 7-9 and 9-10. A cheeky attempt on the backhand ended up in a complete miss of the ball and the match to the Hong Kong number 2.

It wasn’t a good day in the office for the Malaysian camp as their number one Nafiizwan Adnan crashed out to a very determined Raphael Kandra. Like Ivan, Nafiizwan was in control for most of the first game but a lapse of concentration saw him lose it. He manages to take the next two games to lead, but it was evident towards the later part of the third, he was struggling physically.

Raphael saw his opponent struggling and capitalised on it, quickly taking the fourth. In the decider, the Malaysian number one hung in there for as long as he could, but Raphael was not going to let this win slip off his grasp.

“I’m very happy to get through. It’s my first time making the quarters of a $50k. I’ve played Wan three times and I lost all of them. I noticed he was surprisingly tiring out in the third, so I extended the rallies. It’s also never easy staying focused when something like this happens, so I am glad to make it there,” Kendra said later.

Macau’s local wild card Van Keng Hei was overwhelmed by second seed Mohamed Aboulghar expectedly, but the young local player did give a good account of himself especially in the first game. While the score would not have suggest so, there were some rallies he managed to stay in to trouble the skilful Egyptian.

Van Keng Hei said after, “It’s my first time playing someone that highly ranked and it was obvious we are very different in terms of skills. I felt I stayed in pretty well in the first game but after that, I just couldn’t maintain the kind of pace he was playing in.”

In the last match of the evening, Max Lee won another all-Hong Kong battle against Leo Au. As expected, it was a close affair given how well the pair knew each other’s game.


Macau Open 2017
19-24 Sep, Macau, $50k
Round One
21 Sep 
22 Sep
23 Sep
24 Sep
[1] Simon Rosner (Ger)
11/5, 11/6, 11/8 (34m)
Joshua Masters (Eng)
[1] Simon Rosner


[5] Omar Mosaad
18.00 GC 2015 GC
[5] Omar Mosaad (Egy)
11/1, 8/11, 11/9, 7/11, 11/2 (65m)
Harinderpal Sandhu (Ind)
[6] Tsz Fung Yip (Hkg)
14/12, 11/5, 11/9 (48m)
Ivan Yuen (Mas)
[6] Tsz Fung Yip


[4] Saurav Ghosal
[4] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
5/11, 8/11, 11/2, 11/3, 11/6 (85m)
[Q] Mazen Gamal (Egy)
Leo Au (Hkg)
5/11, 11/7, 11/7, 11/4 (61m)
[3] Max Lee (Hkg)
[3] Max Lee


[7] Omar Abdel Meguid
17.45 GC
Chris Simpson (Eng)
11/6, 11/5, 11/4 (33m)
[7] Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy)
[Q] Raphael Kandra (Ger)
9/11, 11/7, 11/9, 4/11, 11/8 (68m)
[8] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
[Q] Raphael Kandra


[2] Mohamed Abouelghar
[wc] Van Keng Hei (Mac)
11/3, 11/5, 11/1 (17m)
[2] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy)

Finals, 20-Sep, from 13.00:

Raphael Kandra (Ger) 3-1 Iker Pajares (Esp)             11/9, 7/11, 11/6, 11/7 (66m)
Harinderpal Sandhu (Ind) 3-0 Abhay Singh (Ind)              11/6, 11/6, 12/10 (35m)
Joshua Masters (Eng) 3-0 Tang Ming Hong (Hkg)               11/2, 11/2, 11/6 (24m)
Mazen Gamal (Egy) 3-1 Evan Williams (Nzl)             10/12, 11/7, 11/6, 11/9 (57m)

Round One:

Raphael Kandra (Ger) 3-0 Arnold Phat (Tha)                       11/3, 11/6, 11/6 (20m)
Iker Pajares (Esp) 3-0 Henry Leung (Hkg)                           11/7, 11/4, 11/7 (36m)
Abhay Singh (Ind) 3-0 Chi Him Wong (Hkg)                         11/8, 11/7, 11/9 (36m)
Harinderpal Sandhu (Ind) 3-0 Manuel Gassmann (Mac)          11/1, 11/1, 11/2 (17m)
Joshua Masters (Eng) 3-0 James Huang (Tpe)                     11/4, 11/6, 11/8 (31m)
Tang Ming Hong (Hkg) 3-2 Martin Svec (Cze)  11/5, 8/11, 11/5, 10/12, 12/10 (76m)
Evan Williams (Nzl) 3-0 Steven Liu (Mac)                           11/5, 11/6, 11/3 (21m)
Mazen Gamal (Egy) 3-0 Ali Miski (Leb)                               11/6, 11/1, 11/3 (21m)
Macau Open 2017
19-24 Sep, Macau, $50k
Round One
21 Sep  14.00-19.15
22 Sep
23 Sep
24 Sep
[1] Raneem El Welily (Egy)
4/11, 11/7, 11/1, 9/11, 11/8 (37m)
[Q] Yathreb Adel (Egy)
[Q] Yathreb Adel


[7] Joey Chan
19.30 GC 19.30 GC
[7] Joey Chan (Hkg)
11/8, 10/12, 11/7, 11/9 (45m)
Vanessa Chu (Hkg)
[6] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
7/11, 11/6, 11/6, 13/11 (47m)
[Q] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
[6] Donna Urquhart


[4] Joelle King
[4] Joelle King (Nzl)
12/10, 11/8, 11/9 (36m)
Nadine Shahin (Egy)
[wc] Liu Kwai Chi (Mac)
11/3, 11/3, 11/3 (18m)
[3] Annie Au (Hkg)
[3] Annie Au


Mariam Metwally
20.15 GC
Mariam Metwally (Egy)
11/5, 11/13, 11/7, 10/12, 11/5 (49m)
[8] Mayar Hany (Egy)
Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
11/4, 12/10, 8/11, 11/8 (45m)
[5] Tesni Evans (Wal)
[5] Tesni Evans


[2] Nouran Gohar
[Q] Rowan Elaraby (Egy)
11/5, 7/11, 11/7, 11/9 (52m)
[2] Nouran Gohar (Egy)

Finals, 20-Sep from 13.00:

Rachael Grinham (Aus) 3-0 Ho Tze-Lok (Hkg)                      11/6, 11/3, 11/6 (25m)
Vanessa Chu (Hkg) 3-1 Milou van der Heijden (Ned)     11/4, 6/11, 11/9, 11/6 (36m)
Rowan Elaraby (Egy) 3-0 Liu Tsz-Ling (Hkg)                        11/9, 11/9, 11/6 (26m)
Yathreb Adel (Egy) 3-1 Tong Tsz-Wing (Hkg)              11/7, 11/7, 7/11, 11/6 (41m)

Round One:

Rachael Grinham (Aus)   bye
Ho Tze-Lok (Hkg) 3-0 Janet Vidhi (Ind)                                11/7, 11/3, 11/9 (21m)
Vanessa Chu (Hkg) 3-0 Duan Si Yu (Chn)                             11/4, 11/7, 11/3 (15m)
Milou van der Heijden (Ned) 3-0 Jemyca Aribado (Phi)           11/3, 11/7, 12/10 (22m)
Liu Tsz-Ling (Hkg) 3-2 Ka Yi Lee (Hkg)                 2/11, 11/8, 11/3, 4/11, 11/7 (45m)
Rowan Elaraby (Egy) 3-0 Peng Zhen Ni (Chn)                        11/2, 11/4, 11/6 (15m)
Tong Tsz-Wing (Hkg) 3-2 Farah Momen (Egy)     11/3, 9/11, 11/4, 11/13, 11/7 (53m)
Yathreb Adel (Egy) 3-2 Hania El Hammamy (Egy)  5/11, 11/7, 11/9, 6/11, 11/8 (53m)

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20-Sep, Qualifying Finals:
Egyptian girls gatecrash Macau main draw
Alex Wan reports

Egyptian youngsters Yathreb Adel and Rowan Elaraby ran riot over their higher ranked opponents from Hong Kong to gate crash into the main draw of the $50k Macau Squash Open.

Adel continued her giant killing run from yesterday with a hard fought four game win over Tong Tsz-Wing, while world junior champion Elaraby took out Liu Tsz-Ling in straight games.

In the other match featuring a Hong Kong player, qualifying top seed Rachael Grinham avenged her loss to Hong Kong’s Ho Tze Lok at the HKFC International two weeks ago with a convincing three-nil score line.

Vanessa Chu was the only Hong Kong player who survived the afternoon after the 23 year old took four games to score an upset over the higher ranked Milou van der Haiden to earn a match against compatriot Joey Chan in the main draw.

Coincidently, all the qualifiers have been drawn to play fellow compatriots, Yathreb and Rowan to face top two seeds Raneem El Welily and Nouran Gohar, and Rachael to play Australia's Donna Urquhart.

In the men’s matches affairs went according to seeding once again. Qualifying top seeds Raphael Kandra and Mazen Gamal both dropping a game in their 3-1 wins over Spain’s Iker Pajares and Kiwi Evan Williams respectively.

Raphael’s win earns him a berth against Malaysian Nafiizwan Adnan while Mazen will face Saurav Ghosal of India.

England’s Joshua Masters took out Hong Kong’s lefty Tang Ming Hong in just 24 minutes and will play top seed German Simon Rosner tomorrow.

In an all-Indian clash, Harinder Pal Sandhu beat his young compatriot Abhay Singh in 36 minutes and will play Egypt’s “Hammer of Thor” Omar Mosaad.



19-Sep, Qualifying Round One:
Men's seeds through as
Hammamy falls in Macau
Alex Wan reports

It was all according to the seeding in the men’s qualifying, with top seed Raphael Kendra leading the way, easing into the next round after seeing off Thailand’s Arnold Phat in just 20 minutes. The German number 2 came out victorious with a convincing 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 score line and plays Iker Pajares for a place in the main draw. The Spanish was kept on court for nearly twice as long by his opponent, Henry Leung of Hong Kong, but also came out straight games winner.

India will be assured of another player in the main draw as both Harinder Pal Sandhu and Abhay Singh won their matches to set up a clash tomorrow. Harinder was in devastating mood as he took out local Manuel Gassmann for the loss of only 4 points while British Junior Open finalist Abhay Singh won in 3 close games against Hong Kong’s Wong Chi Him.

In the lower half of the draw, England’s Joshua Masters halted James Huang of Taiwan in straight games to set up a showdown with Hong Kong’s Tang Ming Hong, who was put through a gruelling 76 minute encounter by Czech Martin Svec in the longest match of the day.

Steven Liu, the host’s top male player, failed to progress further after losing out to Evan Williams in 21 minutes over three games. Mazen Gamal of Egypt awaits Evan tomorrow after he took out UAE’s Ali Miski with relative ease in exactly the same duration of 21 minutes.

While it was less eventful in the men’s, the women’s matches had a lot more drama, with world junior finalist and qualifying second seed Hania El Hammamy being booted out by compatriot Yathreb Adel over five games. She plays Hong Kong’s Tong Tsz-Wing who went through an equally tough encounter against Egyptian Farah Momen before winning in five.

The all-Hong Kong affair between Liu Tsz-Ling and Lee Ka Yi proved to be another cracker. Lee Ka Yi, ranked nearly 50 places below her compatriot, came back from 1-2 down to force a decider, but it was the more experienced Tsz-Ling who scraped through. She plays world junior champion Rowan Elaraby, who had no trouble disposing China’s Peng Zhen Ni in 15 minutes.

Ho Tze Lok booked her place in the qualifying finals tomorrow after beating Indian Janet Vidhi in straight games. The 21 year old from Hong Kong will take on top seeded Aussie Rachael Grinham in a repeat of the HKFC International first round match a fortnight ago, where she upset the books to make the last eight.

Vanessa Chu, fresh from her final appearance at the Malaysian Circuit 5k, was in devastating form as she saw off China’s Duan Si Yu in just 15 minutes and will be facing Netherland’s Milou van der Heijden tomorrow, who survived a close third game in her straight games win over Filipino Jemyca Aribado.



Six up for Macau
Preview from Alex Wan

The Macau Squash Open will be making its sixth consecutive appearance on the PSA World Tour this year. Like last year, it offers $50,000 on-site prize money and bonuses each in the men’s and women’s categories.

The event will run from 19 – 24 September, and has attracted participants from a total of 18 countries.

The event is organised by the Macau Squash Association with Macao Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government returning once again as the title sponsors. The event is also supported by TDM as the official media partner and Coca-Cola Beverage Company Limited Macau as the official drinks partner.

Former world #1 and current world #2 Raneem El Weleily returns to the event once again. Her last appearance was in 2014 where she lost in the final to Nicol David. She heads the seeding ahead of compatriot Nouran Gohar, currently the world #5. Hong Kong’s Annie Au and defending champion Joelle King, who won her biggest career title here last year, complete the top four seeds in the women’s category.

In the men’s, world # 11 Simon Rosner of Germany is the top seed ahead of Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar. Local favourite Max Lee, who was forced to concede the final last year, will be bidding for a third straight final after winning the event in 2015. India’s Saurav Ghosal, who was ousted in the last four last year, complete the top quartet. Hong Kong’s Leo Au will also be a hit in the event with the local supporters, especially coming in fresh from victory at the HKFC International.

In the qualifiers, Aussie veteran Rachael Grinham heads the seedings in the women’s ahead of Egypt’s World Junior finalists Rowan Elaraby and Hania El Hammamy. Philippines Jemyca Aribado celebrates her break into the top 100 with a place in the qualifying draw. Egyptian Mazen Gamal is seeded second in the qualifiers behind German Raphael Kendra.

Local challenge will be spearheaded by wild cards Ivy Liu, who has once again drawn Annie Au, while Van Keng Hei makes his debut in the men’s main draw against second seed Mohamed Abouelghar. Other local hopefuls Steven Liu and Manuel Gassmann will compete in the men’s qualifiers.

Macau Squash will be looking for something special from their players after breaking new heights this year. One of their juniors Yeung Weng Chi became the first Macanese to be on the honours list of the Asian Juniors after finishing joint-third in Jordan this year.

The opening rounds of the tournament will be played at the squash courts at the Bowling Centre at Avenida da Nave Desportiva, while the semi-finals and final will be moved onto the all-glass court that will be erected at the Amizade Square in the heart of town.



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