Nicol David, the World No.1 and reigning champion, breezed through her second round Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash Open 2012 match against Joey Chan in three straight games 11-5, 11-5, 11-1 in 27 minutes to show her continuing dominance of the women’s game.
Joey had some successes with good attacking shots, but David’s experience, shots, strategy and court skills were just too good. She looked composed and fully confident, winning in style. David will now meet Kasey Brown of Australia in the Quarter Finals on Friday Nov 30.
Unseeded Brown beat No. 5 seed Madeline Perry of Ireland, three games to one, but this was not such a huge upset as, until recently, their world rankings were 12 and 10, respectively.
Rachael Grinham of Australia had a tough match against Joshana Chinappa of India to progress to the Quarter Finals. Summing up the match, Rachael Grinham explained her on-court feelings.
“I felt pretty comfortable in the beginning. I won the first game fairly comfortably and in the second game I was up, and ridiculously [nearly] lost it. Even in the third I also had another good lead and lost it,” Grinham told The Epoch Times.
Grinham, an ex-World No.1 and former Hong Kong Open Champion, came through the hard second round match against an improving Chinappa, winning by three games to one. There were tie-break finishes to three of the games (10-12, 12-10 and 17-15) and Grinham needed six match points to secure the victory.
“She [Chinappa] has improved a lot and I think she will be coming up the rankings.
“I had to play the best I have played in 18 months or two years and had to play like that to barely beat her. I am just glad I won that fourth game. I don’t know what would have happened if it had gone to a fifth game,” Grinham added.
Seventh seed, Low Wee Wern, retired with a muscle injury when she was down two games to one against Carmille Serme of France. Serme will meet Rachael Grinham in the Quarter Finals.
Meanwhile, Rachael’s sister, No. 8 seed Natalie Grinham, playing out of the Netherlands, had a 4-game win over Nocolette Fernandes of Guyana. Natalie Grinham’s opponent in the Quarter Final will be No. 3 seed, Jenny Duncalf, who also won in four games against Dipika Pallikal of India.
Alison Waters of England beat Line Hansen of Denmark to go on to meet Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt, who continued her good form knocking out Joelle King of New Zealand in a hard fought and very close contest.
The annual Hong Kong Squash Open has been held since 1985 – except when Hong Kong hosted the 2005 World Open Squash Championships – and is one of the few tournaments that brings the world’s best men and women together in two top-tier tournaments.
As an equivalent of one of tennis’s Grand Slam events, winning the prestigious tournament is one of the aspirations on many professional players’ lists.
Peter Nicol from Scotland won the Open on four occasions in the Men’s category; as has Amr Shabana from Egypt, who has won four consecutive titles at this event.
Meanwhile, Nicol David of Malaysia has a more impressive record having won the last six consecutive titles (2006-11) in the Women’s category. She also won the 2005 Women’s World Open Squash Championships held in Hong Kong.
This year, David will be defending her 2011 title, as will last year’s Men’s winner James Willstrop from England.
Also this year, the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash Open 2012 has the honour of having the International Olympic Committee present to complete an “inspection” to determine if squash will be on the programme for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Meanwhile, Men’s World No.1, James Willstrop, went through to the Quarter Finals.
Quarter Finals Matches
The line-up for Quarter Final matches taking place on Friday Nov 30.
Women: Nicol David of Malaysia against Kasey Brown of Australia; Jenny Duncalf of England plays Natalie Grinham of the Netherlands; Camille Serme of France plays Rachael Grinham of Australia; and Alsion Water of England plays Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt.
Men: James Willstrop, the World No. 1, plays Borja Golan of Spain; Peter Barker of England will meet Karim Darwish of Egypt; Gregory Gaultier of France plays Ramy Ashour of Egypt; and Amr Shababa of Egypt plays Nick Matthew.
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