Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial  Hong Kong Open 2014  24-31 Aug   


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  TODAY in Hong Kong 2014  
   Daily News from the Hong Kong Open                            this page as a pdf

Fri 29-Aug, Day SIX:
Top two seeds through as
Tayeb and Sobhy gatecrash the semis again

Quarter-finals  on Centre Court at Hong Kong Squash Centre saw the top two seeds in both events through to the semis - albeit in contrasting circumstances - but there were plenty of thrilling matches and yes, more upsets, along the way ...


 [1] Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 Joey Chan (Hkg)
             11/8, 11/4, 11/3 (27m)
[8] Amanda Sobhy (Usa) 3-1 [3] Camille Serme (Fra)
             11/5, 1/11, 11/7, 11/3 (37m)

Tarek Momen (Egy) 3-2 [8] Simon Rosner (Ger)
             7/11, 11/4, 7/11, 11/7, 11/8 (77m)
[1] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0 [7] Daryl Selby (Eng)
             11/2, 11/3, 11/8 (45m)

[4] Borja Golan (Esp) 3-0 Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
             11/7, 11/9, 11/7 (39m)
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy) 3-1 [6] Peter Barker (Eng)
             9/11, 11/7, 11/9, 11/3 (51m)

Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-1 [4] Alison Waters (Eng)
            11/4, 9/11, 11/4, 11/8 (32m)
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-2 Rachael Grinham (Aus)
             11/8, 7/11, 11/9, 5/11, 12/10 (58m)

Top two seeds through as
Tayeb and Sobhy gatecrash the semis again

Quarter-finals day at Hong Kong Squash Centre started off with two HK favourites, nine-time champion Nicol David and HKs own Joey Chan.

Chan put up some fine resistance in the first game but David ran away with the next two to take her winning streak here to 48 matches.

I was finding my timing in the first, and then in the second and third I really found my game and started putting a few things together.

Chan reflected: I played ok in the first, but the pace was very high, and it took its toll after that. It taught me a few things, I know I need to work on my defensive shots in the preparation for the Asian Games.

Davids semi-final opponent will be US youngster Amanda Sobhy, who pulled off one of my best-ever wins in beating Frances third seed Camille Serme in four games.

I was just running around and playing too short in the second, which she lost 1-11, admitted Sobhy, but otherwise she she was generally in control. I just had to settle down again and I was pleased with how relaxed I was.

Im really happy, said Sobhy straight after the match, its a good day and I can go back to school [she graduates from Harvard next May] happy whatever happens next. Its nice to know Im getting close to the top ten players while Im still at school, she added. It will be great when Ive finished and can go full time on the tour.

The first mens quarter-final was a humdinger. Simon Rosner and Tarek Momen traded the first four games, whoever got in front stayed in front, but the fifth was a real battle that had the packed crowd erupting for one dramatic exchange after another. From 7-all it was Momen. who took out third seed James Willstrop in the first round, who took the win.

Oh my god, that was quite a battle, said Momen, I put up the fight of my life on that court today.

The key point was I never ever gave up hope, I never thought of it as a quarter-final to make my first ever world series platinum semi, I just took it as a match I wanted to win.

Simon is such a great player, the effort he made me put in today was unreal, but I really enjoyed it!

The second match was a less dramatic affair as top seed and world number one Gregory Gaultier dominated Daryl Selby for two games. The Englishman, still always behind, made the third much tougher but the Frenchman closed it out in 45 minutes.

In the first two I was moving well and using a lot of variation, which paid off, said Gaultier. I was maybe too passive in the third but he relaxed and thats when hes dangerous, you think hes not interested and then youve lost the point!

Im happy to be in the semis, and I feel quite fresh after three three-nil wins which is a bonus.

Last years finalist Borja Golan, after surviving a five-setter yesterday, eased into the semis with a straight-games win over Nicolas Mueller, who also had a marathon in the previous round but had yet to play on Centre Court.

That was not easy at all, said Golan. I think playing on the court before helped, but its quite dead so it suits his game too and hes so dangerous. I knew I had to keep my focus on every point, I was very up and down yesterday, and thats what made the difference for me.

Its good to have Carlos Cornes coaching me in between games [on the phone] and to have my wife Chelo here supporting me - I hope I can transfer my good results here to the other big tournaments!

The last spot in the mens semis was taken by second seed Mohamed Elshorbagy, who recovered from a game down to beat Englands Peter Barker, easing through the fourth after tight second and third games.

He played well for sure, and he had his chances in the second and third, said Shorbagy. Luckily I was able to push along in those games, its always tough against him maybe next time it will be his turn.

Im really pleased to make it to my first semi-final in Hong Kong. Borja has been playing well so it will be tough but Ill be up for it!

Also making her second World Series semi-final in a row is Nour El Tayeb, who continued her impressive run of results with a 3-1 win over fourth seed Alison Waters. The young Egyptian took the first and third with some ease while in between Waters stayed ahead throughout the second. The fourth and final game was tense and exciting, with Tayeb always just ahead.

I cant believe it, said a delighted winner. It was completely the opposite type of game than against Wee Wern yesterday, Alison hits the ball really hard and I was having to try to contain her.

Im so happy to be in the semis here, my coach has been telling me to enjoy the game and I was really enjoying that match!

The final match of the day almost saw the third womens upset as Rachael Grinham came within one point of beating second seed Laura Massaro. They traded the first four games, then it was the veteran Aussie who took the initiative in the fifth, leading 4-1, 8-5 and 9-7. Massaro levelled at 9-all but had to sae a match ball before edging home 12-10 on a stroke.

It was always in control, she joked.

Shes in great form so I knew it was going to be a tough match, and I think she worked out how to play this court against Annie yesterday. I was down in two of the games I won, I just had to keep sticking in and stay strong like I always do.

Ive enjoyed my matches on here this year, but it will be good to get on the all-glass court tomorrow.


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on to the glass tomorrow

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