Monday, July 15, 2024

Chan Charges Into Hong Kong Open Quarters

Joey upsets the seedings to reach quarter-final clash with Nicol David 
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent

Joey Chan powers through in Hong Kong
Joey Chan powers through in Hong Kong

Hong Kong underdog Joey Chan claimed an unexpected place in the last eight of the Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open after despatching No7 seed Omneya Abdel Kawy in straight games in today’s second round of the Women’s Squash Association World Series Gold event in Hong Kong

The world No23’s 11-8, 13-11, 11-7 win over 2009 finalist Kawy, ranked 11 places higher, provides solitary home interest in the quarter-finals since compatriot Annie Au, the Hong Kong number one and sixth seed, crashed out of the event, beaten by Australia’s 2002 champion Rachael Grinham, seeded 10. 

Chan’s surprise success sees the 26-year-old left-hander (pictured above in action with Kawy) back in her country’s major Open event for the first time for three years. “I am really glad to get through the quarters after 2011, Omneya is a really talented player,” said the 15th seed.


“Since the game was fast in pace, I just tried to take the control at court and kept running around, and be patient on making every attack and the rallies as long as possible.”


Chan will now line up against top seed Nicol David, the defending champion from Malaysia who was taken to four games by Emma Beddoes before beating the 13th seed from England 11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7.


“I just want to enjoy the match and the atmosphere and do my best,” added Chan.


At 37 years old and competing in her 11th Hong Kong Open since 2001, Grinham today showed that she is still a force to be reckoned with. The Queenslander recovered from a game down to see off Au 9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-9 in her first win over the world No9 since July 2011.


“I thought I played really well, but I knew I had to keep smacking the ball hard, not my usual sort of game at all,” Grinham said. “If she gets her shots going on this court she’s deadly, she’s beaten me a few times on here so I needed to keep it fast to take her options away.


“Two years ago I’d have been happy to think I had two years left, so now I’m just taking it month by month,” added the former world number one. “I still feel I’ve got the game to beat the top players, but maybe not three or four of them in a row!”


Third seed Camille Serme made the last eight by the skin of her teeth, saving two match-balls to hold off England’s No9 seed Jenny Duncalf 11-13, 6-11, 11-4, 11-3, 12-10 in 77 minutes.


“At two-nil down I was thinking that it couldn’t be worse,” admitted the top-ranked French player. “I just tried to calm myself down and get my tactics right, I was a bit mixed up in my head.


“I got lucky on the second match ball and I told myself that this is my chance now. It’s never nice to lose a match like that, I’m just glad I was the winner today.”


But there were a further upset when 16th seed Nour El Tayeb beat fifth-seeded Malaysian Low Wee Wern 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-5 in 74 minutes.


Egyptian El Tayeb, the 21-year-old world No25 from Cairo, is enjoying a stunning run on the WSA World Tour after reaching last week’s Malaysian Open from the position of 16th seed and now making the last eight in Hong Kong for the first time.


“That’s how it is with Wee Wern,” said El Tayeb after her first ever win over the world No7. “She sucks me into her slow pace and for large parts of the match I just couldn’t play my game! Omar [Elborolossy] kept telling me I needed to wake up, and thankfully in the fifth I managed to get on top again.”

Results. Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open:

2nd round:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [13] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7 (46m)
[15] Joey Chan (HKG) bt [7] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-8, 13-11, 11-7 (31m)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [9] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-13, 6-11, 11-4, 11-3, 12-10 (77m)
[8] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Victoria Lust (ENG) 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (31m)
[16] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-5 (74m)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [11] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 (40m)
[10] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [6] Annie Au (HKG) 9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-9 (41m)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Nouran Gohar (EGY) 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 (53m) 

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v [15] Joey Chan (HKG)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) v [8] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) v [16] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [10] Rachael Grinham (AUS)


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Picture courtesy of WSA


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