From MATT WAGG
The first day of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Finance Hong Kong Squash Open saw just one surprise result from the top half of a split round one draw.
The 32-draw World Series event, boasting a $70,000 prize-fund, kicked off at the Cultural Centre in Hong Kong this afternoon, with No.3 seed Jenny Duncalf looking to improve her form after a disappointing recent run. Last year’s Rotterdam World Open runner-up played Delia Arnold of Malaysia and the Englishwoman closed out the narrowest of straight-game victories to book her second round place.
Duncalf will face twelfth seed Dipika Pallikal, who was given an early scare by her local wildcard opponent Liu Tsz-Ling. The home hope took a commanding first game lead before the Indian No.1 could get into the contest, but a refocused effort saw Pallikal grasp the match firmly from the second game to win in four games.
Experienced WSA World Tour pro, Natalie Grinham saw off the challenge of the only Egyptian in the top half of the draw, Heba El Torky. The Netherlands international took under half and hour to dispatch the 21-year-old qualifier in straight games, and will now face surprise second round opponent Nicolette Fernandes.
The Guyanese player, who had already seen 48-minutes of court time during her qualifying matches, came out on top after a five-game thriller against No.14 seed Samantha Teran of Mexico, recording her best career win to date.
Ninth seed Kasey Brown saw a straight games win over qualifier Lauren Briggs propel her into a second round clash with No.5 seed Madeline Perry. Perry also made light work over her qualifying opponent Amanda Landers-Murphy in three games.
Highest seeded local of today’s play, Joey Chan pleased the on-looking crowds by beating Kylie Lindsay of New Zealand. The qualifying Kiwi had started quickly and stole a march on Hong Kong’s second seed, but Chan upped her performance to take the next three games and close out the contest.
In Thursday’s round two, Chan faces the unenviable task of facing top seed and six-time Hong Kong Open champion, Nicol David. The Malaysian world No.1 beat unseeded EnglishwomanSarah Kippax in a straight forward three-game tie to start her quest for title number seven in typical no-nonsense fashion.
The bottom-half of the round one draw continues tomorrow afternoon at the Culture Centre, as second and fourth seeds Raneem El Weleily and local hope Annie Au both look to get their campaigns underway. Also in action are last month’s big ranking movers Alison Waters, Joelle King and Low Wee Wern.
 Nicol David (MAS) bt Sarah Kippax (ENG) 11-2, 11-5, 11-5
 Joey Chan (HKG) bt [Q] Kylie Lindsay (NZL) 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9
 Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 11-6, 11-6, 11-3 (19m)
 Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [Q] Lauren Briggs (ENG) 11-8, 11-2, 11-6
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (48m)
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 7-11, 11-6, 11-1, 11-5
 Natalie Grinham (NED) bt [Q] Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-7, 11-5, 11-4 (28m)
[Q] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt  Samantha Teran (MEX) 10-12, 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6 (78m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v Aisling Blake (IRL)
 Low Wee Wern (MAS) v [Q] Melody Francis (AUS)
 Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Latasha Khan (USA)
 Annie Au (HKG) v [Q] Joshana Chinappa (IND)
 Donna Urquhart (AUS) v Line Hansen (DEN)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Emma Beddoes (ENG)
 Joelle King (NZL) v [Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)