Wednesday, October 4, 2023

End of the Line for Hansen as Chinappa roars in


INDIA’S Joshna Chinappa pulled off a sensational second successive upset in today’s second-round of the Hong Kong Open to claim her first ever quarter-final berth in a WSA World Series event.

After making her breakthrough in the first-round where she upset number seven seed Natalie Grinham, the 27-year-old from Mumbai stunned Denmark’s number 15 seed Line Hansen 12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5 in 44 minutes to become the only unseeded player to reach the last eight of the final World Series Gold event of the year at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.

Currently just two places below the career-high world No24 ranking she achieved two months ago, 11-time Indian national champion Chinappa made her WSA World Series championship debut in the Kuwait Open qualifiers in March 2005. Now, 28 World Series events later, the Chennai-born Indian star is making her long-awaited quarter-final debut.

“I hadn’t played Line for five years but she’s had some good results recently so I knew it would be tough,” Chinappa said later. “I really like it here in Hong Kong and seem to play well. That’s two good wins for me.”

Chinappa will now face Alison Waters, the number four seed from England, who took only 23 minutes to dismiss Welsh qualifier Tesni Evans 11-2, 11-4, 11-5. Coincidentally, it was Waters who Chinappa met in the first qualifying round in Kuwait in 2005.

“It will be very different tomorrow on the glass court, but I had a great time on there last year [beating Annie Au] so I hope to do well on there again tomorrow,” concluded Chinappa.

Two greats of the women’s game will meet in the quarter-finals when defending champion Nicol David, the top seed from Malaysia, takes on 2010 runner-up Jenny Duncalf, the fifth seed from England.

In a repeat of last year’s final, David (pictured right) beat France’s Camille Serme – but had to recover from a game down to overcome the number nine seed 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 in 41 minutes.

Duncalf was taken the full distance by rising Guyana star Nicolette Fernandes before finally beating the 16th seed 12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9 in 76 minutes.

The quarter-final clash will be David and Duncalf’s 28th on the WSA World Tour since February 2002 – and fourth in the Hong Kong Open. The Malaysian holds a 25-2 head-to-head advantage, with Duncalf claiming her two victories in quick succession in November 2009.

Local star Annie Au keeps Hong Kong hopes alive following her 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 win over English giant-killer Emma Beddoes, the 28-year-old qualifier who ousted sixth seed Low Wee Wern in the first round.

Au, the number 12 seed who was a semi-finalist in 2011, now faces second seed Laura Massaro. In a match between two of the game’s most experienced players, the world number two from England defeated Australia’s former champion Rachael Grinham 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (both pictured left).

Elsewhere, 11th seed Omneya Abdel Kawy ensured there will be an Egyptian semi-finalist after she upset Ireland number one Madeline Perry 12-10, 11-3, 11-5. Kawy’s victory followed El Weleily’s success earlier in the day, after the 2011 runner-up from Alexandria beat compatriot Nour El Tayeb 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-8.

Quarter-final Draw:

[1] Nicol David (Mas) v [5] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) – 18:15pm
[4] Alison Waters (Eng) v Joshna Chinappa (Ind) – 17:30pm
[3] Raneem El Weleily (Egy) v [11] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) – 14:45pm
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng) v [12] Annie Au (Hkg) – 14:00pm

Round Two Results:

[1] Nicol David (Mas) 3-1 [9] Camille Serme (Fra) 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (41m)
[5] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) 3-2 [16] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) 12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9 (76m)
[4] Alison Waters (Eng) 3-0 [Q] Tesni Evans (Wal) 11-2, 11-4, 11-5 (23m)
Joshna Chinappa (Ind) 3-1 [15] Line Hansen (Den) 12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5 (44m)
[11] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 3-0 [8] Madeline Perry (Irl) 12-10, 11-3, 11-5 (27m)
[3] Raneem El Weleily (Egy) 3-1 Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-8 (38m)
[12] Annie Au (Hkg) 3-0 Emma Beddoes (Eng) 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 (26m)
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-0 [13] Rachael Grinham (Aus) 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (29m)

To read a comprehensive review of all the action at the Hong Kong Open, click here.

 Pictures by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

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