Round TWO

Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial  Hong Kong Squash Open 2016   

 

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Max makes the quarters on a day of carnage in the men's draw

 TODAY at the Hong Kong Open - Daily Reports
25-Aug, Day FIVE, Round TWO:
Quarter-Finals set on a day
of carnage in the men's draw


On the last day of play at Hong Kong Squash Centre, seven of the top women's seeds made it through - 11-time champion Nicol David needing five games again - but there was utter carnage in the men's draw, with just one seed left in to contest the quarter-finals!

The first winner of the day was American Amanda Sobhy, getting off to a good start and beating Sarah-Jane Perry in four games.

Then came a spell of Egyptian winners as Nour El Tayeb produced the first big upset of the day as she beat third-seeded compatriot Raneem El Welily in four games, neither producing their best but Tayeb won't be at all concerned at that.

Top seed and world number one Nour El Sherbini, on her first trip to Hong Kong, made a great start against home favourite Annie Au, opening up a 6-0 lead only to see Annie level at 7-all.

After that there wasn't much in it, Au playing on her home court making it difficult for Sherbini, who eventually found a way through to win in four games.

She'll now play Omneya Abdel Kawy in an all-Egyptian quarter-final, after Kawy beat Joshna Chinappa in straight games, the Indian getting closer each game.

The first men's matches of the day immediately produced some upsets - one huge as Cameron Pilley met Mohamed ElShorbagy in a repeat of last year's final, and took out the top seed/defending champion/world #1 11/9 in the fifth after saving match ball in the fourth!

"I have a decent record again Mohamed so I know how to play him," said Pilley, who beat Gregory Gaultier and Nick Matthew to reach last year's final.

"I had a great run here last year and when you have a run like that you try and replicate the same things you did the year before!"

His next opponent is seventh seed Karim Abdel Gawad who won his all-Egyptian meeting with Mazen Hesham in four games.

Germany's Simon Rosner continued the cull of the seeds as he beat France's Mathieu Castagnet, seeded five, in four very tough games.
 
Then it was the turn of fourth seed Marwan Elshorbagy to exit, as he saw a two game lead evaporate against compatriot and former champion Ramy Ashour, who after losing the second 15/13 recovered to take the next three games 11/8, 11/8, 11/8.

A second disappointment for the Hong Crowd followed as Australia's Ryan Cuskelly eased past wildcard hero Yip Tsz Fung in straight games, and the Aussie is set to face James Willstrop in the quarters after the Englishman came from a game down to beat eighth seed Tarek Momen.

The women's quarter-final lineups were completed when Nicol David survived another five-setter, this time coming from 2-1 down to maintain her unbeaten record against Joelle King, and to notch up her 57th consecutive HK win.

Camille Serme will be David's next opponent, the French sixth seed comfortably despatching wildcard Ho Tze-Lok, while Laura Massaro and Nouran Gohar both progressed against English opponents, Massaro dropping the second game before accelerating past Emily Whitlock, and Gohar easing past Alison Waters in three.

The last two men's matches saw yet another upset as home here Max Lee, appearing in his 13th HK Open but his first second round, went one better by beating seventh seed Ali Farag in a pulsating four game match.

Twice Max led, and it looked as though the Egyptian would force a decider as he led 9-6 in the fourth, but a run of five points from Max brought the house down as he became the first Hong Kong male to reach the quarter-finals.

"I've been watching this event since I was tiny, and playing in it since I was a junior," said a delighted Max. "To reach the second round was an achievement, but to know I'll be playing on the glass court in front of my home fans is just amazing."

Max's opponent is also unseeded, after the carnage was completed by Fares Dessouky beating second seed and world champion Gregory Gaultier in another five-game thriller.

Twice behind, Dessouky levelled twice and then made a great start to the decider, holding on as Gaultier edged closer - the Frenchman calling his own shot not up on the second match ball.

"That has to be one of my best ever wins," said Fares, "I'm really delighted to reach the quarter-finals here!"




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Cameron Pilley downs top seed and defending champion on a day of upsets in the men's draw


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