Top Squash in Hong Kong
HONG KONG—The 5th HKFC PSA International 25 squash competition hosted by the Hong Kong Football Club took place between Wednesday May 25 and Saturday May 28. A total of 16 players for both the men’s and women’s events were included in the main draw, 12 were preselected with 4 additional players progressing from the Qualifying draws held on Monday and Tuesday May 23-24.
Top seed Max Lee of Hong Kong succumbed in round 1 to Qualifier Ivan Yuen of Malaysia who continued to progress through the tournament to the semi-final stage but finally fell to 5th seed Paul Coll of New Zealand in an 82 minute 5 set match. At the bottom of the men’s draw, Hong Kong’s Leo Au (seeded 2) also progressed to the Semi-final but then met an in-form Nafiizwan Adnan of Malaysia (seeded 3) who took the game 3-0.
Adnan sailed through the tournament winning his matches to the final in straight games taking out Mahesh Mangaonkar of India, Mazen Gamal of Egypt and then Leo Au, much to the disappointment of the local supporters. Adnan continued with his match winning heroics beating Coll 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 in the final. Coll put up a solid performance but his long match against Ivan Yuen, the night before, likely played a part.
In the women’s event top seed Joelle King of New Zealand, ranked 9 in the world, took out Joey Chan of Hong Kong in round 1, then beat Dipika Pallikal of India in round 2, followed by Donna Urquhart of Australia in the semi-finals to set up a final against number 3 seed Joshna Chinappa of India world ranked 13. Hong Kong’s Annie Au progressed to the semi-final beating qualifier Liu Tsz-ling (Hong Kong) and Jenny Duncalf of England but fell to Chinappa in a close 5 set match in the semi-final.
Chinappa overcame qualifier Salma Hany Ibrahim of Egypt followed by a 50 minute 5-set match against ex world champion Rachel Grinham of New Zealand and a 60 minute match against Au. In the final, Chinappa fought back from 2 sets down to win the 3rd set, but King prevailed over a close well contested match to win 3-1 (11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9).