Hong Kong ace falls in qualifying
By SEAN REUTHE
Egyptian World No.30 Zahed Mohamed put in a highly impressive final qualifying round performance to upset Hong Kong’s Max Lee and reach the main draw of the China Squash Open, PSA M100 tournament taking place at The Peninsula Shanghai.
Lee, the World No.18, is fresh off the back of reaching a maiden World Series semi-final last week on home soil at the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open and looked to have maintained his fine form after taking a one-game lead on the tie-break.
But a dogged Mohamed battled back and a virtuoso display from the 24-year-old saw him take the next three games without reply to record a superb 10-12, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 triumph and set up a first round clash with World No.7 Mathieu Castagnet.
Peruvian teenager Diego Elias was also in action in the final round of qualifying and the World No.34 dispatched Leo Au in straight games to ensure that he will take on World Champion Gregory Gaultier in what looks set to be a keenly-contested main draw fixture.
There were also wins for Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar and Mexico’s Cesar Salazar, with the duo beating Paul Coll and Nafiizwan Adnan, respectively, both by a 3-2 margin. Abouelghar’s reward is a main draw matchup with Hong Kong Open runner-up Karim Abdel Gawad, while Salazar will go head-to-head with World No.10 Tarek Momen.
The Women’s event saw top qualifying seed Dipika Pallikal Karthik overcome United States No.2 Olivia Blatchford in four games, while Hong Kong’s Joey Chan will join Pallikal Karthik in the main draw of the PSA W70 tournament after she defeated Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern.
Hong Kong Open winner Nouran Gohar lies in wait for World No.19 Pallikal Karthik in the opening round of the main draw, with Chan set to face off against number one seed Laura Massaro.
Egyptian pair Heba El Torky and Salma Hany Ibrahim were the other final qualifying round victors and have respective matches against Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa and Hong Kong’s Annie Au in store.
2016 China Squash Open
Men’s Final Qualifying Round Results (qualifying seeding positions in brackets):
 Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt  Max Lee (HKG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (67m)
 Diego Elias (PER) bt  Leo Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (44m)
 Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt  Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-2: 11-13, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7 (79m)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt  Paul Coll (NZL) 3-2: 9-11, 11-13, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 (67m)
Men’s First Round Draw:
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [WC] Junjie Wang (CHN)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
 Borja Golan (ESP) v Fares Dessouky (EGY)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[Q] Diego Elias (PER) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Women’s Final Qualifying Round Results:
 Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) bt  Olivia Blatchford (USA) 3-1: 11-4, 2-11, 11-0, 11-4 (31m)
 Heba El Torky (EGY) bt  Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (34m)
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-1: 11-5, 11-13, 11-7, 11-5 (41m)
 Joey Chan (HKG) bt Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-1: 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8 (47m)
Women’s First Round Draw:
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Q] Joey Chan (HKG)
[Q] Heba El Torky (EGY) v  Joshna Chinappa (IND)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Emily Whitlock (ENG)
Delia Arnold (MAS) v  Joelle King (NZL)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [Q] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
[Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) v  Annie Au (HKG)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
[WC] Li Dongjin (CHN) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Picture from Squash Mad archive