02-Dec, Day FOUR: Round
Yip makes history for Hong Kong
Kong will have a player in the second round for the first time
since 1998 - and a local Chinese for the first time ever - after
22-year-old qualifier Yip Tsz Fung outlasted England's
Tom Richards in a thrilling five-setter.
Yip led 1-0 and 2-1, and could have one 3-0 as he was leading
5-1 and 9-6 in the second. He regrouped and had four match balls
in the fourth before Richards levelled with six points in a row.
one match ball was needed in the fifth though as Yip clinched
the win to the delight of the packed court nine crowd.
"I was very nervous," admitted Yip, "I wasn't thinking about
winning or losing but when I lost those match balls I thought I
might have lost the chance. There's no secret to how I won
though, it was just hit and run, and I'm delighted it paid off!"
HK head coach Tony Choi was delighted too: "Yip played
superbly today, he was more focused and patient than I've ever
seen him, and we're all very proud of him."
now meets Egyptian seventh seed Tarek Momen, who beat
qualifier Declan James in four tough games.
Hong Kong's other hope, wildcard Leo Au, fell in four games to
Gregory Gaultier, but the new world champion and world #1
was made to work hard for his win.
"That was very fast," said the Frenchman, "he made we work
hard, and I had to dig deep to win, that's a lot of energy for a
Gaultier now meets James Willstrop in a repeat of their
World Champs semi-final after the Englishman came from a game
down to beat Ryan Cuskelly - himself a surprise world series
semi-fnalist in Qatar.
seed Nick Matthew got past Marwan Elshorbagy in three
games, and now meets another Egyptian opponent after qualifier
Zahed Mohamed beat compatriot Mazen Hesham in an up and
down match which saw Hesham recover from 0-7 and 6-10 in the
third to extend the match before falling short in another
comeback attempt in the fourth.
so happy today," said Zahed, "he beat me three times in a row
and I didn't want it to be four, and also needed to win to help
boost my ranking which dropped this month."
Second seed Matthew was pleased with his performance: "I
played really well for two games, and if he'd managed to take
the third it would have been difficult so I'm happy to get off
The last sixteen was rounded out by Simon Rosner and
Cameron Pilley, who both recorded straight-games wins to
finish off the round.
King ends Au hopes as David
Zealand's Joelle King ended hops of Hong Kong progress in
the womens' draw as she beat home favourite and seventh seed
Annie Au in four games.
"It's always difficult playing Annie in HK, and especially on
this court," said King. "I started well bet she came back into
it to take the third, so it was good to get a lead in the
King now meets Joshna Chinappa, one of two Indians to
progress, Chinappa beating qualifier Megan Craig while Dipika
Pallikal took advantage of a less than fully fit Habiba
Mohamed. Pallikal meets France's Camille Serme, the third seed
who beat Tesni Evans in three close games.
champion Rachael Grinham (back in 2002), competing in her
fourteenth consecutive Hong Kong Open, beat local qualifier Ho
Tze Lok, who was playing in the first round after losing out in
the qualifying rounds in the last seven events.
The Australian veteran now meets familiar opposition in the form
of Omneya Abdel Kawy -herself a former finalist competing
in her 13th HK Open - , after the Egyptian got past qualifier
Amanda Landers-Murphy in four games.
Malaysian quarter-finalist is guaranteed after defending
champion Nicol David beat local wildcard Liu Tsz Ling in
three games - although David had to save eight game balls in the
third - to notch up her 51st straight Hong Kong win, and Delia
Arnold squeezed past Nicolette Fernandes 12-10 in the fifth
after seeing her first four match balls go begging.
"I wasn't feeling at my best today, and Nicolette was playing
well," admitted Delia, "so in the end I just had to try to make
it a case of who could last the longest!"
was naturally pleased to be back in Hong Kong, where she has won
for the last ten years:
"I felt quite comfortable being back on this court at the
start, but at the end Liu was really finding her range, going
for everything and hitting some good winners, so in the end I
was relieved to get through in three!"
Women's bottom half:
Draws & Results
 Camille Serme (Fra) 3-0 Tesni Evans (Wal)
11-9, 13-11, 11-6
Dipika Pallikal (Ind) 3-0 Habiba Mohamed (Egy)
11-9, 11-2, 11-2
Rachael Grinham (Aus) 3-0 [Q] Ho Tze Lok (Hkg)
11-9, 11-8, 11-7
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 3-1 [Q] Amanda L-Murphy (Nzl)
11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3
Joelle King (Nzl) 3-1  Annie Au (Hkg)
11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6 (43m)
Joshana Chinappa (Ind) 3-0 [Q] Megan Craig (Nzl)
11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (25m)
Delia Arnold (Mas) 3-2 Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)
3-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8, 12-10 (69m)
 Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 Liu Tsz Ling (Hkg)
11-3, 11-6, 16-14 (35m)
Round One, Men's
Draws & Results
 Tarek Momen (Egy) 3-1 [Q] Declan James (Eng)
10-12, 11-6 (52m)
[Q] Yip Tsz Fung (Hkg) 3-2 Tom Richards (Eng)
9-11, 11-1, 10-12, 11-9 (63m)
 Nick Matthew (Eng) 3-0 Marwan Elshorbagy (Egy)
11-4, 11-4, 11-9 (38m)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (Egy) 3-1 Mazen Hesham (Egy)
11-9, 11-3, 10-12, 11-8 (49m)
 Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-1 [wc] Leo Au (Hkg)
11-3, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7 (53m)
James Willstrop (Eng) 3-1 Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
13-15, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (60m)
Cameron Pilley (Aus) 3-0 [Q] Rex Hedrick (Aus)
11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (34m)
 Simon Rosner (Ger) 3-0 [Q] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
11-9, 11-9, 11-3 (34m)
What they Said
Draws & Results