Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial  Hong Kong Squash Open 2015   


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04-Dec, Quarter-Finals:
Mosaad and Pilley in HK upsets

A dramatic quarter-finals day at Hong Kong Squash Centre saw a number of straightforward wins for the top seeds, but two upsets in the men's draw as Omar Mosaad staged a fantastic comeback to deny Miguel Rodriguez, and Cameron Pilley stunned new world champion and world #1 Gregory Gaultier in straight games.

Women's Quarter-Finals:

[1] Raneem El Welily (Egy) 3-0 [8] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
                11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (22m)
[3] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-1 [6] Nouran Gohar (Egy)
                11-5, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6 (43m)

[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 3-0 [3] Camille Serme (Fra)
                  11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (28m)
[2] Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 Joelle King (Nzl)
                   11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (29m)

Men's Quarter-Finals:

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-0 [8] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
                11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (34m)
[6] Omar Mosaad (Egy) 3-2 [4] Miguel Rodriguez (Col)
                3-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 13-11 (103m)

Cameron Pilley (Aus) 3-0 [3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
                      11-9, 12-10, 12-10 (43m)
[2] Nick Matthew (Eng) 3-1 [7] Tarek Momen (Egy)
                   15-13, 11-4, 6-11, 11-9 (62m)

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Raneem races through

Top seed and world #1 Raneem El Welily was the first into the semi-finals as she raced past Amanda Sobhy in three fast-paces games on the Centre Court at Hong Kong Squash Centre.

El Welily was always ahead in the first, but never by much, but raced 7-2 ahead in the second, and pulled clear at the end of the third for a 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 victory.

"Everything was so quick, it was all played at a very high pace," she said, "and it the end it was just a few little things that made a difference, it might have been three-nil but it was closer than the score suggests.

"I just had to keep pushing myself to stay focused, I made a few errors in the third but I just had to keep going. Delighted to be in the semis, it should be exciting on the glass court.

Massaro keeps run going

Laura Massaro made it thirteen World Series win in a row as she came through a tough four game encounter with world junior champion Nouran Gohar.

Dominant in the first game, Massaro needed to draw on her renowned determination as Gohar struck back to take the second.

The young Egyptian led 8-6 in the third and 4-2 in the fourth only to see Massaro fight back to take both games to reach the Hong Kong semifinals for the third time.

"I felt a bit up and down mentally through the match," said Massaro, "I couldn't execute the plan I'd prepared as much as I'd like, but she's so dangerous and so attacking she takes away your chances to do that.

"Delighted to get through to the semis, really looking forward to playing on the glass court now."

David and Kawy ease into semis

In the bottom half of the draw Nicol David made it 53 Hong Kong wins in a row as she dealt efficiently with the challenge of Joelle King, and Omneya Abdel Kawy put in a great display of attacking squash to put out third seed Camille Serme, both matches over in three games in just under half an hour's play.
"I felt good today," said David, "I really stuck to what I needed to do and kept my form and focus right to the end.

Kawy was delighted with her win: "I was really happy with how I played - she was more nervous than I was and I took advantage of that.

"The court suits my game, it's bouncy and dead at the same time, you have to be careful not to overhit so that you can keep your touch for the drops.

"Hopefully tomorrow's court will suit me too, and I can play even better!"


Mosaad comeback stuns Rodriguez

Losing the first two games 3-11, 3-11, 5-10 down in the fifth, even Omar Mosaad couldn't quite believe he won this match !

The little Colombian dominated the first two, buzzing around the court at speed and bamboozling Mosaad and the crowd with some of his shots, 9 minutes each for those games.

The big Egyptian forced his way into the match, getting the better of close endings to two close games, both 11-9 in 19 and 26 minutes.

Rodriguez was back on the rampage in the fifth, leading from the start and when his first dive helped him to reach 10-5 even Mosaad, by his own admission, thought the match was over.

"At 5-10 I just though I would try to win some points to make the score look better," he said.

Again though he worked his way back into it.

"At 8-10 I thought maybe I could take it to a tiebreak."

He did that, despite Rodriguez by now throwing himself around the court. He levelled, then put a volley into the tin to give the Colombian a sixth match ball.

The final swing saw Mosaad take the next three points, to complete a remarkable comeback.

"I came back from 5-8 down in the fifth in the world junior team final," he recalled, "and this one is just like that, I'll remember this," said Mosaad.

"He played so well in the first two, and I was lucky to win the third and fourth and the end. I may have won the match but all credit to him, it was a great match and either of us could have won that."

Shorbagy sets up all-Egyptian semi

Top seed and defending champion Mohamed Elshorbagy wasted no time in making sure that there would be an Egyptian finalist as he powered past Mathieu Castagnet in straight games.

"I was really happy with how I played," he said, "it was similar to last year when after losing out in the worlds I had to play Mathieu, but I'm coping with it better this time, I'm not letting not reaching my targets affect me as much, I'm just trying to relax and get back to how I was playing last year.

"Mathieu is such a tough opponent, he never has a bad match and you always have to be right on it to beat him.

"I'm pleased to be through to the semis and delighted to be playing my friend Omar, I'm really pleased for him.

"With Ramy injured it's great that we're carrying the momentum for Egyptian squash, and one of us will be in the final."

Matthew through as
Pilley takes out the World Champ

The final pair of men's matches saw Nick Matthew win through to a fourth Hong Kong semi-final with a tough four game win over Tarek Momen - avenging his defeat at the same stage in last month's World Champs, and Cameron Pilley producing a second consecutive late night upset as he stunned new world champion and world #1 Gregory Gaultier in three close games.

"Tarek isn't one of the players I'd choose to play on this court," said Matthew, but I was pleased to take a tight first and get away in the second, but he got away quickly in the third and the fourth was tight, I thought we were heading into a decider.

"I love playing here, the crowd really get involved, and moving onto the glass court tomorrow is something I'm really looking forward to."

Pilley played superbly to beat Gaultier for the first time in fourteen PSA matches.

The Frenchman led for all of the first game, from 6-9 Pilley took five points in a row to take the lead. Pilley led throughout the second, but this time Gaultier saved two game balls before Pilley doubled his advantage 12-10, and then pulled away at the end of the third to earn three match balls at 10-7.

Gaultier saved each of those and urged the crowd to support him with a big fistpump, but again it was in vain as on his fourth match ball Pilley drove the ball too deep for Gaultier to receive.

Pilley's celebrations were muted but Gaultier, as if celebrating the end of a long season, comically threw away his racket and collapsed onto the floor.

"That's one win against him - ever - I'll take that," said Pilley.

"I'm trying to just keep myself cool, calm and collected when I'm playing squash these days, and it seems to make me play much better," added Pilley.

"It's taken me fourteen years to realise that."

Pilley's only problem is that, once again, his morning golf appointment golf has to be cancelled.

"With any luck he'll be playing golf on Sunday," said Matthew.

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