27-May, Day SIX, the FINALS
 Joelle King (Nzl) 3-1  Joshna Chinappa (Ind)
11/9, 9/11, 11/9 (45m)
 Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) 3-0  Paul Coll (Nzl)
11/8, 11/8 (51m)
Adnan and King claim HKFC crowns
Two new champions were crowned today as the fifth edition of the
HKFC International came to a close with two hard-fought finals
in front of a packed, involved and appreciative crowd at Hong
Kong Football Club.
The women's final - the third, as the equal-prize-money event
was added after two years of men-only events - pitted top-seeded
New Zealander Joelle King against Joshna Chinappa,
the third seed from India.
Chinappa had survived two five-game encounters in the previous
rounds, while King had had a slightly easier passage to the
final. Neither showed any signs of fatigue as they pair played
out four hotly contested games with little to choose at any
point in the match.
led the early stages of the first by a couple of points but
Chinappa levelled at 8-all and led 9-8, only to see King take
the lead with three winning drives.
The second was a carbon copy, King holding a slender advantage
early on, Chinappa levelling at 7-all and leading 9-7 but King
once again - as she has all week - got the better of the
endgame, this time taking four points in a row to double her
The third went point for point to 8-all but this time it was
Chinappa who finished better, forcing two strokes out of the
last three points to reduce the arrears.
The fourth was again point for point, to 8-all. King edged
ahead, moved to match ball with a crisp volley drop, and the
title was hers as Chinappa scuffed her service return.
was really tough," said a relieved and delighted champion.
"Joshna had come through a couple of tough matches but she
didn't back down at all. I went two nil up but she just kept
coming back at me and didn't let go so I'm just glad I was able
to finish it off in four!
"Really happy to come here and win this tournament, there's
always a lot of pressure when you're top seed.
"It's been a good week here in Hong Kong, looking forward to
defending my title next year."
After a series of upsets in the men's draw the final pitted
third-seeded Malaysian Nafiizwan Adnan against another
New Zealander, fifth-seeded Paul Coll, who had come back
from match ball down in the third game in his semi-final. Adnan,
like King, had enjoyed a less troubled route to the final having
ended home interest by beating Leo Au in straight games in his
made the better start, leading 4-1 in the opening game, but
Adnan quickly recovered to lead 7-4, taking the game 11-6 after
13 minutes of play. There was little between them in the second,
only a point in it until 7-all with plenty of long, tactical
rallies. From 8-all though Coll was outmanoeuvred three times,
resulting in three strokes to Adnan and a two-nil advantage.
The Malaysian took that momentum into the third to take a 5-2
lead, and despite Coll's strenuous efforts including a few
slips, trips and dives, he couldn't quite close the gap.
trio of backhand volley crosscourt nick winners - similar to
those of Ivan Yuen in yesterday's semi - did nothing to harm
Adnan's cause, and he reached 10-8 match ball on a stroke then
claimed the title as Coll tinned in the final rally.
"I did it," said a delighted Adnan. "Really happy to win this
tournament, it's my biggest yet and a great way to finish the
season. Thanks to Kenny Fu, who was there in my corner all week.
"It's been a great event, really well organised and the
facilities at the club are fantastic. I hope I can take this and
come back stronger next season."
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