Serme surprises as round one
complete, action moved over to Hong Kong Squash Centre,
nestled in Hong Kong Park, where sixteen matches in the
top half of the main draw took place.
Top seeds Raneem El Welily and Mohamed Elshorbagy
went through comfortably enough, Welily avoiding her early
pitfall in Qatar as she beat qualifier Siyoli Waters in three,
Elshorbagy taking four games to see off England's Peter Barker,
playing in his last competitive match.
an honour for me to be Peter's last match," said Elshorbagy, the
defending champion who lost his world #1 status to Gregory
"I looked up to him since he was a kid, he's such a fair player
and the consistency he showed over all those years is
remarkable, so tough to play and he never lost to a lower seeded
player. I wish him the best in his new role and hope to still
see him involved in the sport."
main upset of the day came as French qualifier Lucas Serme
came from a game down to beat 2013 HK finalist Borja Golan,
14-12 in a tense fourth game finish.
"That has to be my best win," sad a delighted Serme. "I had game
ball in the first and I think I showed maturity and resilience
to come back to win the next three, I'm tired but ecstatic!"
was almost another upset as Malaysia's Low Wee Wern,
seeded nine and returning to action after an extended injury
layoff, had to come from one-two down and save match balls in
the fifth to dent French qualifier Coline Aumard.
"I'm not 100% yet," admitted Low, "I still have pain and I can't
play as fast as I'd like. At 2-1 down I though about stopping,
but when you're an athlete you always want to win!"
Whitlock and Heba El Torky both beat qualifiers and
both, amazingly for the first time, will enjoy a rest day
tomorrow. "Whenever there have been rest days in the draw I've
either had to play through, or lost when I could have had one,"
yesterday's qualifying hat-trick there was plenty of home
interest but Joey Chan, Vanessa Chu and M x Lee
all bowed out, but there are five more chances for Hong Kong
The day's final match was also the longest as India's Saurav
Ghosal beat South African Steve Coppinger 11-9 in the fifth
after 76 minutes.
was a fantastic match, we both played really well and I'm
delighted to get through! said Ghosal."
Tomorrow sees the bottom half of the draw in action,
sixteen more matches from 13.30.
Draws & Results
hadn't seen her play before, but a few of our junior players
told me she was a good player, and fast, and she was! I was 2-6
down in the third and I had to fight hard otherwise it could
have been very tough.
"Hong Kong have so many good young players, Rebecca is doing a
"I have so much respect for Laura [Massaro] but I'm going in and
I'll be doing my best to win in the next round!"
Heba El Torky
though I was two-nil up it was tough, and I relaxed in the third
but she was still fighting hard.
"Losing the third was a bit of a wakeup call for me, so thanks
to Mosaad for giving me advice the advice, telling me to stickto
the basics and to stick to my game plan!"
had some good hard rallies, Christine played well. In the end it
was my consistency that paid off and I managed to come through
at the end of each game.
"It's good to get a first match on Centre Court, it's a
difficult court to get used to, it's quick at the front and then
dead at the back, very different from Qatar and other glass
glad I won in three, but I don't really know how - it felt like
I was just running around after the ball like a headless chicken
most of the time, but I managed to get to about 90% of the balls
and put a few away.
"Hong Kong has been good to me, I made the semis last year and
won a couple of other tournaments here, so hopefully I can keep
varied the pace so much, I noticed this when I played her before
and never understood how to counter it. You have to get the
balance between playing fast and slowing it down just right or
she draws you in, you can tell she's training with Nicol.
"I was tired after five points even though I was 5-0 up, so I'm
glad to finish it in three! This will be the first time I've
ever had a rest day in a tournament!"
a difficult court to play on, the walls behave differently and
it's very noisy. We're both very fast players and he came in
full of confidence after two good wins in qualifying.
"It's a pity he got injured at the end, it was a good match, but
I'm delighted to reach the second round here for the first
wanted to make it hard from the start, and from 6-1 down in the
first I think I controlled it maybe 60/40 in my favour. it would
have been good to take the first but he played some good rallies
and hit a few winners at the end of it.
"I'm pleased with how it went after that, that's a good win as
he's playing very well at the moment."
happy to get through in three, it's been a while since I had a
really hard match, maybe my ranking is giving me slightly easier
draws but it's helping my confidence too.
"I think I played very well today, it's the last tournament of
the year so I'm going to do my best to enjoy it and see how far
I can go ..."
the worlds I was tired, so took some time out to refresh myself.
I knew what the draw here was, it's always tough to play Max
here in Hong Kong, especially on this court when he's playing so
"It was very important to win the first game, if he'd taken that
the crowd would have been behind him and the expectations would
be on him to beat me. He played very well to win the third, he
was volleying everything, but I managed to get my focus back to
take the fourth."
just what you need in your first game for seven months, an
"I'm not 100% yet, I still have some pain and I'm not as quick
as I'd like to be so I had to try to find ways to slow it down
where I could.
"At 2-1 down I was feeling it, and my coach told me that if I
wasn't up to it to stop - I thought about doing that, but I've
missed out on so much I didn't want to miss any more, and as an
athlete you always want to win!"
Low wee Wern
probably my best ever win. I had game ball in the first, but
after losing that I was able to stick in and show that I have
maturity and reliability. I knew that if I won I'd have a day
off, so that gave me a little bit of extra push at the end.
I'm tired, but ecstatic!"
was a fantastic match, we both played really well, it was a
pleasure to be involved in a match like that and obviously I'm
delighted to get through."
had some really long rallies in there, he loves that so you have
to try to shorten them if you can, but sometimes you just have
to put in the hard work first.
"I felt I got better as the match went on, happy to get through
to the second round for the third time in a row."
was a tough match. I knew it was his last if I won, and I have
so much respect for him, he was always there since I started,
someone to look up to.
such a fair player, the way he handles himself on court, his
consistency throughout the years. He was under-rated, so tough
to play, he never lost to lower ranked players and had some
"I wish him well in his new direction and hop he stays involved
in the sport. It just shows you that everything comes to an end,
it will happen to me one day and I hope I can conduct myself
like he has and finish as well as he has."