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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Annie keeps home hopes burning bright in HK

Lee Hortonhttps://squashmad.com
Former Sun, Mirror, People and Sunday Express sports executive. Knows a bit about newspapers and the art of talking a good game. Brighter than some but a way to go to match others.

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Au serves exit ticket on Heba El Torky to seal her place in second round
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Reporter

Hong Kong number one Annie Au doubled home interest in the last 16 round of the Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open – and ensured two local players in the second round for the first time for three years – when she beat Egypt’s Heba El Torky in the first round of the WSA World Series Gold event.

“My aim was just to get past the first round,” the world No9 said after her 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 win.

“I’m satisfied with my performance today so I’ll just focus on one match at a time,” added Au (pictured above in action with El Torky), who now joins compatriot Joey Chan in the next round.

The 25-year-old No6 seed will face Australian veteran Rachael Grinham for a place in the quarter-finals. Grinham, the 37-year-old tenth seed who made her debut in the 2001 championship – and was champion a year later – defeated Mexican qualifier Samantha Teran 11-4, 11-7, 12-10.

BwCZR3BIgAAAALaEgypt’s Nouran Gohar (above) celebrated her first appearance in the championship in great style – by upsetting India’s No14 seed Joshana Chinappa, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist in Scotland earlier this month, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7.

“She’s hard to play as she has so many shots,” said 16-year-old Gohar. “But I managed to play my game, keeping the pace up and the court helped me when I got the chance to play dropshots. It’s my first time in HK so I’m very happy to make the last sixteen!”

Gohar, the world No29 from Cairo, now lines up against No2 seed Laura Massaro. England’s world champion beat Egyptian qualifier Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy 11-6, 11-4, 11-3.

In a surprising first-ever meeting with a 17-year-old fellow countrywoman, 16th seed Nour El Tayeb admitted to a bout of nerves – despite arriving in Hong Kong after reaching last week’s Malaysian Open final against expectations.

The 21-year-old world No25 from Cairo took 37 minutes to see off qualifier Mariam Metwally, ranked more than 60 places lower, 13-11, 12-10, 11-8.

“I was nervous through the whole match,” admitted El Tayeb. “Even though I never played her before I knew she was very good, and after last week I want to do well again but I was trying too hard to be relaxed and just made myself too anxious!

“It was close all the way through, I’m just glad to win in the end.”

El Tayeb will now take on Low Wee Wern, the fifth seed from Malaysia who made up for the disappointment of a second round Malaysian Open exit to beat Hong Kong wildcard Tong Tsz-Wing 7-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-8.

“She came out strong in the first,” said Low. “But after that I felt comfortable right up to 10-3 match ball, she gave it all she had and came back well so I was glad to get off in four in the end.”

RESULTS: Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong

1st round (lower half of draw):
[5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [WC] Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) 7-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-8 (48m)
[16] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY) 13-11, 12-10, 11-8 (37m)
[11] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-3, 5-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 (63m)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) bt Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (26m)
[6] Annie Au (HKG) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (26m)
[10] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [Q] Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (37m)
Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [14] Joshana Chinappa (IND) 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 (20m)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (24m)

 

1st round (lower half of draw):
[5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [WC] Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) 7-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-8 (48m)
[16] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY) 13-11, 12-10, 11-8 (37m)
[11] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-3, 5-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 (63m)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) bt Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (26m)
[6] Annie Au (HKG) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (26m)
[10] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [Q] Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (37m)
Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [14] Joshana Chinappa (IND) 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 (20m)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (24m)

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

 

Picture by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

 

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