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Squash: Lee leads local hopes in Hong Kong Open qualifying

Hong Kong No. 1 Max Lee (right) beat 18-year-old compatriot Ma Tsz-hei 3-0 to progress to the final qualifying round of the Hong Kong Open. Photos: Hong Kong Squash.

Hong Kong No. 1 Max Lee (right) beat 18-year-old compatriot Ma Tsz-hei 3-0 to progress to the final qualifying round of the Hong Kong Open, the final PSA World Series event of the year. Photos: Hong Kong Squash.

December 2, 2013: Max Lee led local hopes of success in the men’s qualifiers of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open when he became the sole Hong Kong player to survive the first qualifying round of the eighth and final PSA World Series event of the year.

 

The prospect of two further local players making the main draw of the women’s tournament were given a major boost as Tong Tsz-wing and teenager Ho Ka-po both prevailed in the first qualifying round of the WSA World Series Gold event on Sunday.

 

Lee, 25, celebrated his four-place rise to 32 in the new PSA World Rankings by defeating unranked 18-year-old compatriot Ma Tsz-hei 3-0 (11-5, 11-3, 11-8) in 25 minutes at the Hong Kong Squash Centre, which will host the main tournament until Friday.

 

The Hong Kong No. 1 will face Egypt’s Andrew Wagih Shoukry for a place in the main draw. Shoukry, a 23-year-old from Cairo ranked 21 places lower than Lee, beat Hong Kong 17-year-old Chris Lo 3-0 (11-4, 11-4, 11-5).

 

France’s Lucas Serme pulled off the biggest upset when he battled to an 11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7 victory over Scotland’s World No. 34 Alan Clyne. The 21-year-old from Creteil, ranked more than 40 places below Clyne, faces Pakistan’s Nasir Iqbal in the qualifying finals.

 

Indian teenager Mahesh Mangaonkar became the lowest-ranked winner of the day when he recovered from a game down to overcome Finland’s World No. 37 Henrik Mustonen 3-1 (9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4). The 19-year-old from Mumbai, ranked 98th, now faces England’s World No. 34 Joe Lee.

 

Egypt’s Omar Abdel Meguid took a step closer to his first appearance in the Hong Kong Open main draw when he beat Germany’s Raphael Kandra 3-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8). The 25-year-old World No. 30 from Giza will take on Steven Finitsis, the sole Australian in the qualifying finals.

 

In the women’s qualifiers, Tong defeated Egypt’s 16-year-old Nadine Ayman Shahin 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-2). The 21-year-old World No. 56 will face England’s Emma Beddoes for a place in the main draw.

 

Ho, 19, upset Germany’s Sina Wall 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-3) and will face Welsh No. 1 Tesni Evans in the qualifying finals.

 

Hong Kong's Ho Ka-po (left), 19, upset Germany's Sina Wall 3-0 in the women's qualifiers.

Hong Kong’s Ho Ka-po (left), 19, upset Germany’s Sina Wall 3-0 in the women’s qualifiers.

A remarkable 27-year age gap separated the two players who contested the day’s final qualifying battle as seven-time US champion Latasha Khan, 40, had to call upon her experience to outshine 13-year-old Hong Kong prospect Cheng Nga-ching 3-0 (11-2, 11-6, 11-7).

 

Khan, the World No. 30 from Seattle, faces another teenager in the qualifying finals when she meets Mariam Ibrahim Metwally, the 17-year-old from Egypt who ousted Hong Kong’s Ho Tze-lok 3-0 (11-9, 11-5, 11-6).

 

The day’s most dramatic battle took place between France’s Laura Pomportes and local hope Choi Uen-shan. World No. 58 Pomportes twice led the unranked 17-year-old, but Choi twice levelled and had match-ball in the decider before the 24-year-old French player finally clinched a 3-2 (11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10) victory after 52 minutes.

 

Final qualifying round (December 2, 2013)

 

Men

Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Shaun le Roux (RSA)

Campbell Grayson (NZL) v Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)

Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v Steven Finitsis (AUS)

Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) v Max Lee (HKG)

Nasir Iqbal (PAK) v Lucas Serme (FRA)

Joe Lee (ENG) v Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND)

Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) v Adrian Waller (ENG)

Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Jaymie Haycocks (ENG)

 

Women

Emma Beddoes (ENG) v Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG)

Tesni Evans (WAL) v Ho Ka Po (HKG)

Samantha Cornett (CAN) v Melody Francis (AUS)

Yathreb Adel (EGY) v Laura Pomportes (FRA)

Coline Aumard (FRA) v Olivia Blatchford (USA)

Delia Arnold (MAS) v Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)

Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) v Deon Saffery (WAL)

Latasha Khan (USA) v Mariam Ibrahim Metwally (EGY)

 

First qualifying round (December 1, 2013) – Men

Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Yeung Ho Wai (HKG) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (24m)

Shaun le Roux (RSA) bt Henry Leung (HKG) 11-4, 11-8, 11-9 (30m)

Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (38m)

Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Cheuk Yan Tang (HKG) 11-2, 11-5, 11-6 (24m)

Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8 (45m)

Steven Finitsis (AUS) bt Yuen Tsun-Hei (HKG) 11-5, 11-3, 11-1 (24m)

Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) bt Chris Lo (HKG) 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (21m)

Max Lee (HKG) bt Ma Tsz Hei (HKG) 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (25m)

Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7 (63m)

Nasir Iqbal (PAK) bt Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 (27m)

Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 (45m)

Joe Lee (ENG) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-8, 11-6, 11-4 (38m)

Adrian Waller (ENG) bt James Huang (TPE) 11-8, 11-4, 10-12, 11-1 (45m)

Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt Chi Him Wong (HKG) 12-10, 13-11, 11-9 (34m)

Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) bt Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG) 11-2, 11-9, 11-8 (28m)

Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Hon Fung Wong (HKG) 10-12, 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 (23m)

 

Source: PSA, WSA

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