The Everbright Securities International Hong Kong Open gets under way with 32 first round matches across four courts at the Hong Kong Squash Centre, starting at noon.
We’ll cover what we can, and you can watch all four courts live, keep up with Live Scoring, follow results and updates on our social feeds, check out photos in the Gallery, and we’ll have a roundup at the end of the day.
Evening Session : Tong and Lau provide a great finish for the home fans
The evening session started as the afternoon, with a popular home win on the show court, Lee Ka Yi overcoming promising Egyptian junior Zeina Zein in four games.
“I was a bit nervous today,” admitted Lee. “I’m happy to get the win, but in the second game I was 6-0 up and lost it, which is a bit disappointing. I tried to regroup and improve my length and my shots, I’m happy to win it 3-1 a nd enter the second round of the Hong Kong Open for the first time”.
The Egyptian winners kept on coming as Hana Moataz, Jana Shiha, Yathreb Adel and Nour Aboulmakarim all advanced to women’s round two, Shiha taking out the last wildcard entry Cheng Nga Ching.
For Aboulmakarim it was her first win in a Platinum event : “I’m so I’m happy with that,” she said afterwards, “I wanted to attack everything and tried to finish it as quick as I could. I tried to focus on every point to try and achieve my first-ever first round win at this level. I’m looking forward to playing Lisa Aitken tomorrow and I’m hoping to move through the second round, too.”
The all-USA matchup saw Faraz Khan beat Chris Gordon in straight games while Katie Malliff emerged victorious in the all-English match, overcoming Junianne Courtice in five tense games.
In the final round of matches there were two wins for Scotland as Georgia Adderley and Greg Lobban both won in straight games, but the last two matches of the day produced two more home winners as Tong Tsz-Wing and Tsz Kwan Lau both won tough encounters against Egyptian opponents.
“It feels amazing to win at home and get the support of the home crowd,” said Lau.
“It feels so good. It’s been four years [since the Hong Kong Open was last held] and it is my first time in the main draw. I’m really looking to performing well and I hope I can get another win in front of my family and my friends. I couldn’t sleep well last night!
“I won’t be thinking about it [reaching the latter stages], I will just be trying to put my opponent under huge pressure.”
Afternoon Session : Ho through to face Gohar but Leung falls just short
Back after a four year absence, the Hong Kong Open kicked off at Hong Kong Squash Centre for an opening day featuring 32 first round matches across four courts, including the refurbished all-Glass Centre Court.
The opening match saw HK’s Tomato Ho take a comfortable win over wildcard Tang Min g Hong, setting up a meeting with top seed and World #1 Nouran Gohar tomorrow.
“My goal was to win 3-0,” said Ho. “Luckily, I could do that today. I don’t really feel satisfied with my performance though, because I was a bit tense so my length was wasn’t that good. Hopefully tomorrow my length can work better.”
On the men’s side it was so close but so far for Hong Kong #1 Henry Leung, who looked to be on the verge of victory at 10-6 in the deciding game, but it was Colombia’s Juan Camilo Vargas who took the next six points to snatch victory in 75 minutes.
“I’m tired, but really happy!” said Vargas. “I was three match balls down and mentally it was tough to stay in it. It was very physical, the last game especially, as we both really wanted to win, but I’m glad I managed to stay composed to play better and win.”
Elsewhere it was a good session for the Egyptians with Zeina Mickawy, Sana Ibrahim and Fayrouz Aboelkheir progressing to the women’s second round, while Mohamed ElSherbini and Karim El Hammamy both prgressed at the expense of HK wildcards, although Wong Chi Him and Tang Ming Hong both took a game off their much higher-ranked opponents.
“He’s a pretty good player and has solid hands, there was some long rallies there but it has done the trick for me.” said ElSherbini, who plays second seed Diego Elias next.
The longest match of the session saw Sapin’s Bernat Jaume come from 5-9 down in the fifth to snatch a dramatic 86 minute victory over Scotland’s Rory Stewart, The quickest win of the session came from Malaysian teenager Aira Azman – younger sister of Aifa – who despatched Spain’s Cristina Gomez in 16 minutes.
There were two wins for England with Millie Tomlinson and Lucy Beecroft both winning in four games.
The session concluded as Portugal’s Rui Soares recovered from losing the first 2-11 to beat Canada’s DFavid Baillargeon 13-11 in the fifth on his third match ball.