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Squash: Joey Chan downs Abdel Kawy to reach HK Open quarters

Joey Chan moved into the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open with an impressive 3-0 win over World No. 12 Omneya Abdel Kawy at the Hong Kong Squash Centre. Photo: Hong Kong Squash.

Joey Chan moved into the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open with an impressive 3-0 win over World No. 12 Omneya Abdel Kawy at the Hong Kong Squash Centre. Photo: Hong Kong Squash.

August 28, 2014: Hong Kong No. 2 Joey Chan reached the quarter-finals of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open for only the second time by beating World No. 12 Omneya Abdel Kawy 3-0 (11-8, 13-11, 11-7) on Thursday.

 

However, Chan’s next opponent at the Hong Kong Squash Centre showcourt is World No. 1 Nicol David, who beat England’s Emma Beddoes 3-1 in her second-round match as she bids for a ninth straight Hong Kong Open title. In evening matches, Hong Kong No. 1 Annie Au lost 3-1 to Australia’s Rachael Grinham, 37, and Malaysia No. 2 Low Wee Wern was edged 3-2 by Nour El Tayeb.

 

Chan, 26, first reached the last eight of the Hong Kong Open in 2011 and the current World No. 23 matched that achievement with a surprisingly quick 31-minute win over Abdel Kawy, although the 29-year-old Egyptian held a game ball in the second.

 

“I wasn’t expecting to win 3-0. I was expecting a very tough match because Omneya’s a very talented player and her hands are very good. I’m very happy to reach the quarters,” Chan told SportAsia.

 

“I feel like my game plan worked today. I kept telling myself to be more patient, not make mistakes and keep the rallies going. I was lucky that Omneya made more mistakes than me. Hopefully my ranking will rise after this and this also gives me more confidence for the Asian Games, so hopefully I can keep this confidence until then.”

 

The World No. 23 answers media after lining up a quarter-final against World No. 1 Nicol David. Photo: SportAsia.

The World No. 23 answers media after lining up a quarter-final against World No. 1 Nicol David. Photo: SportAsia.

Chan beat World No. 10 Dipika Pallikal on the same court in June’s Asian Team Championships, when the left-hander played as Hong Kong’s No. 1 due to an injury to Annie Au.

 

Chan’s only loss in the team event was a 3-1 defeat to David in the final as Hong Kong finished runners-up to Malaysia, but the local hero did enough in the match to believe that she has an outside chance of a first-ever win against the eight-year No. 1

 

“I think I’m going to enjoy the match. I know Nicol is one of the greatest players, but I just hope to get more points off her and stay in the court for as long as possible,” Chan said. “I got a game from her in our last match, so I think that I have the ability. We have to trust ourselves more and not always think that we will lose and instead, that we have the ability to win. We just need more patience.”

 

David was the first woman into the quarter-finals after beating 28-year-old Beddoes, the World No. 20. “It was good. I felt that I played well. In the third game, I think she found her depth a bit better and then she got more control and didn’t make any mistakes in that third game,” David told SportAsia.

 

Malaysia’s Nicol David resisted a brave fightback by Emma Bedoes to win 3-1.

Malaysia’s Nicol David resisted a brave fightback by Emma Bedoes to win 3-1. Photo: Hong Kong Squash.

“She needed to keep doing that to win it and in the fourth game I was really tight and make sure I put the pressure on a bit more, with my depth. It was close all the way.”

 

David, who turned 31 on Tuesday, next takes on Chan for a place in the semi-finals, which will be held along with the finals at a specially created glass court inside the Hong Kong Park Sports Centre, located next door to the Squash Centre.

 

Chan will enjoy home advantage and plenty of support against the Malaysian, but David says she will remain focused on her own game as she bids for a 10th straight title in Hong Kong, having won her inaugural World Championships title in the city in 2005.

 

“Joey and the others are all still young and gaining as much experience as they can, but for me, I just want to focus on what I have to do and stick to the game plans I’ve set,” David said. “I just want to make sure I step it up the way I did today – or even better.”

 

For more information, visit: www.psaworldtour.com, wsaworldtour.com, www.hksquash.org.hk

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