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Hong Kong: Ashour to meet Willstrop after harbour wash-out

Storm clouds gather over the glass court. Picture by STEVE CUBBINS

Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open 2012
Sat 1st Dec, Semi-Finals

Finalists are decided in Hong Kong

It was another disrupted day in Hong Kong as the weather intervened to prevent the completion of the semi-finals in the spectacular setting of the Cultural Centre Piazza, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.

Camille Serme and Nicol David won through to the women’s final before rain early in the first men’s match meant that James Willstrop and Ramy Ashour had to return to Hong Kong Squash Centre to complete their passages into the final.

Women’s Semi-Finals :

Camille Serme (Fra) 3-2 Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 11/9, 4/11, 11/7, 11/13, 11/6 (65m)

A match which swung one way and then the next, with Omneya taking the lead, saving match balls in the fourth to force a decider, but ultimately it was Camille who forged ahead to reach her first Hong Kong – her first World Series – final …

[1] Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 [8] Natalie Grinham (Ned) 11/8, 11/5, 11/6 (40m)

It was never easy, but the seven-time defending champion was always ahead in this semi-final, Natalie staying in touch but unable to break through as Nicol made it 39 Hong Kong wins in a row …

Men’s Semi-Finals:       

[1] James Willstrop (Eng) 3-0 [4] Karim Darwish (Egy) 11/8, 11/5, 11/9 (57m)

Play was suspended at 4/2 in the first game due to rain, and the match was moved to the Squash Centre. Willstrop kept a grip on proceedings, fending off Darwish’s not inconsiderable efforts to fight back and eventually won this 2010 final repeat in straight games.

[5] Ramy Ashour (Egy) 3-0 [2] Nick Matthew (Eng) 11/9, 11/9, 13/11 (65m)

After taking two desperately close first games at the death, Ramy Ashour looked to be racing into the final as he sped to a 7/2 lead in the third. Nick Matthew fought back strongly, but a couple of unforced errors at the end cost him as Ashour went through to set up another England v Egypt clash for the title.

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