Round TWO

Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial  Hong Kong Squash Open 2015   


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03-Dec, Day FIVE: Round TWO

Seeds assert until Pilley surprise ...

The fifth day of play saw the quarter-finalists decided at Hong Kong Squash Centre, and it was a good day for the seeded players.

Seven of the top eight seeds will contest the women's quarter-finals, the exception being New Zealand's Joelle King, who followed up yesterday's win over home favourite Annie Au with a five game win over India's Joshana Chinappa.

"Joshna's playing really well, but somehow I managed to stop her dominating play and sneak through in the end," said King.

King now meets second seed Nicol David, the ten-time defending champion who eased past fellow Malaysian Delia Arnold to notch up her 52nd straight win in Hong Kong.

Third seed Camille Serme came from a game down to beat Dipika Pallikal, ending Indian interest, and she will face Egypt's fifth seed Omneya Abdel Kawy, who saw a two game advantage disappear against familiar for Rachael Grinham before reasserting in the fifth.

In the top half of the draw world #1 Raneem El Welily benefited from the second-game retirement of Low Wee Wern to set up a meeting with Amanda Sobhy, the eighth seeded American who won three close games against Jenny Duncalf.

Laura Massaro, winner of the last two world series events, beat Heba El Torky in straight games and the third-seeded Englishwoman now faces more Egyptian opposition in the form of Nouran Gohar, who beat former junior rival Emily Whitlock in straight games.

Seven of the top seeds made it through in the men's draw too, the exception here being Australia's Cameron Pilley, who came through the last, and longest, match of the day to beat fifth seed Simon Rosner.

"Losing the third 15-13 was tough," admitted Pilley, "that game was crucial but I knew I'd made him do a lot of work in the first three and it paid off at the end."

Pilley now meets world champion Gregory Gaultier who repeated his Bellevue win over James Willstrop, this time in four games.

The other match in the bottom half of the draw pits Nick Matthew, who beat qualifier Zahed Mohamed in straight games, against more Egyptian opposition in Tarek Momen, who came from a game down to beat home favourite Yip Tsz Fung.

The easiest passage to the quarters was for top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy after Saurav Ghosal's withdrawal through injury, the defending champion taking the opportunity to watch his next opponent,  France's Mathieu Castagnet, come through a tough four-game encounter with Daryl Selby.

Fourth seed Miguel Rodriguez reached the quarter-finals for the first time as he beat Chris Simpson in four games, and he'll face in-form Egyptian Omar Mosaad for a place in the semis after the new world #4 recovered from a slow start to beat French qualifier Lucas Seme in five games.

Today's Results

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Draws & Results

What they Said
"Jen's been playing well with some good wins and she won Monte Carlo, so I knew it was going to be tough.

"All three games were close, I would get leads but she'd close them up, so I'm happy to get off in three in the end.

"Looking forward to getting back onto Centre Court tomorrow ..."

Amanda Sobhy
"Playing Raneem on on two legs would have been a challenge, but on one it was just impossible ..."

Low Wee Wern
"It was a game of short sharp rallies, partly due to her attacking play, and the nature of the court, with a few swings, I was 5-0 in the first, 10-1 in the second and game balls down in the third.

"I'll always back myself in those situations although it's obviously better not to get into them in the first place, but I was happy to sneak the third in the end.

"I had a good two weeks at home after Qatar which gave me plenty of time to get some good training in and Im feeling good."

Laura Masaaro
"It was a tough match, especially the third - I actually played and missed the ball completely at 9-8, so I wwas pleased to take that one in the end.

"Last time we played was in the BJO final in 2013, I'd beaten her two weeks before in Egypt but she played well and won the final - it's taken a while, but I'm glad to finally get my revenge!

Nouran Gohar
"He proved last week at the worlds that he can beat anyone so I knew I had to be sharp. I had to push myself mentally and physically especially in the fourth game when I gave everything in the tank to try and take control of the match away from him.

"I feel a little physically drained after the worlds but mentally Im still there. I struggled yesterday and today was a tough match as well but these kind of matches can help keep you sharp.

Even if my body isnt 100 per cent, mentally I want to finish the year on a positive note, so Im going t be giving it my all this week."

Gregory Gaultier
"The first game was really tough, then he won quick rallies at the start of the second and I lost my focus a little and made a few mistakes.

"At 6-all in the third we played a huge rally which was the key to winning that one, and I had a good start to the fourth, put in some long rallies and was feeling good.

"I think I was playing well, my movement was good and I played with good accuracy so I'm very pleased to make the quarters here for the first time."

Miguel Rodriguez
"It was tricky getting used to the different court, and he played really well in the first, taking advantage of the court as he had a long match on here yesterday. I hadn't played here for two years so I had to relearn the techniques for this court.

"The first was too easy for him, but I made it tougher in the second, and the third seemed easy up to 10-3 but in the end I was lucky to finish that and he played really well again in the fourth after I was 4-1 up. In the fifth I started to be more relaxed and controlled it again.

"It's the first time I played him, he's very good technically, he's going to be a real danger in the coming tournaments."

Omar Mosaad
"He's so good, so much experience. Even when I was two nil up, I knew his 10 or 15 years of experience would help him come back, even 10-0 isn't safe against him, so I still didn't feel confident of winning.

"He came back in the third, and the fourth was close to 5-all, then I managed to pull away - a lot of the decisions went my way, but that's how it goes sometimes.

"It's not a late finish, so I can now prepare to give a really big push tomorrow ..."

Mathieu Castagnet
"I really enjoy playing Rachael, we play similar games but she has a great array of shots and makes me want to play more creatively too, it's been too long!

"Most of the time it was about who would get the first attack in who would win the point, and the court being bouncy and dead at the same time emphasises that.

"In the third and fourth she played a lot of unexpected shots and made no errors at all. I tried to mix it up but she still attacked and messed up my head.

"I started playing the right game again at 5-10 in the fourth, I couldn't quite take that one but I carried that into the fifth."

Omneya Abdel Kawy
"She's playing so well and had some great wins, we played in Carol Weymuller but she was tired then so I knew today would be tougher.

"When I was down in the fourth I seemed to relax a bit, the ball died and I was able to stop her from dominating the play.

"I was a bit lucky to get some of the crucial calls at the end, happy to scrape through that one!"

Joelle King
"I never saw him play, but to beat Tom like he did I knew he must be good, I just didn't think he'd be THAT good!

"He played such a fast pace at the start, I was struggling to keep up, but by the middle of the second I started to feel that I was controlling it a bit, but we still played some amazing rallies.

"Finally, I'm happy to be through to the quarters ..."

Tarek Momen
"The third game was crucial, even though I lost it in the end, but I knew I'd made him do a lot of work, I felt I had the better of the first three games and it started to pay off in the fourth and fifth.

"In the fourth I just tried to keep calm and relaxed, that's when I'm at my best.

"Hopefully that will stop the SquashTV commentators from writing me off like they always do if I lose the first game!"

Cameron Pilley

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Round TWO

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