Wildcard Li Beats Former World No.4 Kawy on Day One of China Open
By SEAN REUTHE – PSA World Tour
Tournament wildcard claimed the biggest victory of her career thus far when she overcame Egypt’s former World No.4 Omneya Abdel Kawy at Shanghai’s SECA Academy on the opening day of the 2018 J.P. Morgan China Open, PSA World Tour Gold tournament
World No.88 Li has appeared at the China Open since its inception in 2008 and had made it to the second round of the tournament only once, in 2010, over the past decade. Kawy, meanwhile, was ranked in the top 10 as recently as March 2017 but has appeared at just three tournaments over the past 18 months due to the birth of her son.
And the current World No.86 was powerless to stop Li from racking up a 3-0 victory in 26 minutes, with tie-break wins in the first and third games sandwiching a comfortable 11-7 triumph in the second. Li’s second round match will come against reigning World Champion and 2015 winner Raneem El Weily, with the pair set to face off at the glass court atop the Peninsula Shanghai, which overlooks Shanghai’s famous Bund.
“I have shown my best in the match, I just showed everything I have been trained before,” said Li.
“I’m happy to win the game, I’m glad to be here again. Thanks to the support of SECA and the Multi-Ball Games Administrative Centre of General Administration of Sport of China for holding this event. I really treasure being giving the chance to compete with these high-level players.”
2013 champion Nicol David was also in action today as she got the better of India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik by an 11-3, 14-12, 11-9 margin to claim a seventh successive win against the World No.19.
David – an eight-time World Champion – will contest a mouthwatering second round match with England’s World No7 Laura Massaro in what will be their 32nd meeting on the PSA Tour, with David currently boasting a 22-9 lead on their head-to-head record.
“I’m always happy to have a 3-0 win in the first round and against Dipika too,” said David.
“I was pleased with my performance and I’m adjusting to every moment with each game. I’m looking forward to my match tomorrow with Laura.”
The other Asian interest in the opening day’s women’s fixtures came in the form of Hong Kong’s Joey Chan, who beat United States No.1 Olivia Blatchford, and India’s Joshna Chinappa, who got the better of Australia’s Donna Lobban.
In the men’s tournament, Germany’s Raphael Kandra was put through his paces by 2013 World Junior CHampion Karim El Hammamy before coming through a 97-minute encounter to win in five games, setting up a repeat of his British Open semi-final clash with Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the next round.
Kandra’s last tournament on the PSA Tour saw him stun the squash world to reach the last four of the prestigious British Open but he was put through his paces by a dogged showing from El Hammamy, with the World No.22 eventually coming through to win 11-5, 9-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-6.
Qatar’s World No.28 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi is also through to the last 16 after he cruised past India’s Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu, making it two wins over the World No.60 in as many weeks after he also got the better of him at the Asian Games.
“I just played him in the team events at the Asian games and had played him a few times before, so I just had to keep the pressure on him at the back of the court,” said Al Tamimi, who will play Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller in the next round.
“It’s not the way I love to play but it was the way to beat him, I had to get the ball deep in the corners and when he took me short I tried to attack him from the front.”
The China Open is the first PSA World Tour Gold tournament to be played under the new PSA Tour structure – which came into effect on August 1 – meaning that the top eight seeds in both the men’s and women’s events receive a bye into round two.
The likes of women’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini and men’s World No.5 Simon Rösner will start their tournaments tomorrow at the Peninsula Shanghai, while matches will also be played at SECA Academy.
Results – Men’s First Round: 2018 J.P. Morgan China Open
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Peter Creed (WAL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 (51m)
Joel Makin (WAL) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (38m)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (34m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 12-10, 11-6 (50m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Mohamed Reda (EGY) 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (57m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt [WC] Wang Junjie (CHN) 11-1, 11-0, 11-3 (17m)
Greg Lobban (SCO) bt. Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-0:
11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (45m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt. Karim El Hammamy (EGY)
3-2: 11-5, 9-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-6 (97m)
Draw – Men’s Second Round: To Be Played September 6
 Simon Rösner (GER) v Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Joel Makin (WAL) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
 Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v  Paul Coll (NZL)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
Tom Richards (ENG) v  Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
 Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
Raphael Kandra (GER) v  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Results – Women’s First Round: 2018 J.P. Morgan China Open
Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 13-11, 6-11, 12-10 (50m)
Salma Hany (EGY) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-2, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9 (53m)
Alison Waters (ENG) bt Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 15-13, 11-9 (40m)
Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Donna Lobban (AUS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (36m)
Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (29m)
Joey Chan (HKG) bt Olivia Blatchford (USA) 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8 (49m)
[WC] Li Dongjin (CHN) bt Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 3-0:
12-10, 11-7, 12-10 (26m)
Nicol David (MAS) bt Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) 3-0:
11-3, 14-12, 11-9 (29m)
Draw – Women’s Second Round: To Be Played September 6
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [9/16] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[9/16] Salma Hany (EGY) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY) [Bye]
 Camille Serme (FRA) v [9/16] Alison Waters (ENG)
[9/16] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v  Joelle King (NZL)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [9/16] Victoria Lust (ENG)
Joey Chan (HKG) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v [9/16] Nicol David (MAS)
[WC] Li Dongjin (CHN) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of: PSA World Tour