Day FOUR : Round THREE
Joey joins the top seeds in the Quarters
The quarter-finalists were decided today, with sixteen matches on two courts at Hong Kong Squash Centre, before action moves to the all-glass court in the adjacent Sports Centre for the last three days.
There were no upsets to report, with the top seeds – all eight of the men’s and seven of the women’s – advancing.
The interloper is Hong Kong’s own Joey Chan, who beat fellow giant-killer Yathreb Adel to keep home interest alive.
With her world #1 status on the line, Nour El Sherbini battled through a tough four games with Amanda Sobhy, saving game balls in the fourth to avert a tense decider.
Sarah-Jane Perry, who Sherbini meets in the quarters, had to come from two games down to deny Tesni Evans a second successive win over er British rival.
Men’s top seed Mohamed ElSorbagy beat Tom Richards in three close games, a recipe followed by Paul Coll in his defeat of Declan James.
2016 Champion Nouran Gohar followed suit as she edged past Alison Waters in three tight games, making it six Egyptian winners out of nine at that point.
To the delight of the home crowd, Joey Chan stopped the Egyptian charge as she overcame Yathreb Adel in four games.
“I am very happy to win and be through to the quarters again,” said Joey who is competing in her 16th consecutive HK Open and last made the quarters four years ago. “I am looking forward to the match on the glass court [against Raneem El Welily] as I have never played at there.”
El Welily finished off the women’s matches, coming from a game down against Victoria Lust to keep her bid to claim a first HK title and become world #1 on track.
“I remember playing Joey here a few years ago and it was very close and a very good match,” said El Welily. I’m looking forward to playing her again tomorrow and she must be playing really well this week.”
There was not to be a second home win as Karim Abdel Gawad got the better of Tsz Fung Yip in three close games – although to be fair the Egyptian was generally in control, fighting back from 7-9 in the third to seal the win.
Simon Rosner maintained is old over best mate Nicolas Mueller, notching up his 16th straight win and Ali Farag held off a fightback from Diego Elias to reach the quarters.
In the last match of the day Miguel Rodriguez avoided the dramas of last night as he despatched Zahed Salem in all the sevens.
Mini-Gallery – lots more in the full gallery …