Hong Kong Open: Day of upsets

November 28, 2012 - 9:02pm
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Always a tongue-in-cheek moment for Steve Coppinger. Picture by STEVE CUBBINS

Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open 2012
Wed 28th Nov, Day Four: Round One, Bottom Half

Upsets abound on day four in Hong Kong

If there was only one upset on a marathon day three, day four at the Hong Kong Squash Centre saw a more civilised finishing time but four upset results in the bottom half of the draws.

There was just one men’s upset as South African Steve Coppinger took advantage of his reprieve from qualifying to oust Egyptian Omar Mosaad, but the women’s draw was decimated as second and fourth seeds Laura Massaro and Annie Au – much to the disappointment of the home crowd who had earlier seen Max Lee depart – were beaten by Omneya Abdel Kawy and Joshna Chinappa respectively.

Line Hansen weighed in with a fine win over Donna Urquhart to leave the last-16 draw looking decidedly unbalanced, and Nick Matthew rounded off the day by thwarting Simon Rosner, the German going home feeling unlucky to lose three-nil.

Men’s Round One, Bottom Half:

Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 3-0 [Q] Adrian Waller (Eng) 11/9, 11/7, 11/7 (50m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0 [Q] Gregoire Marche (Fra) 11/5, 11/5, 11/5 (39m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (Egy) 3-0 Tarek Momen (Egy) 11/7, 11/8, 11/2 (29m)
Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 3-0 [Q] Max Lee (Hkg) 11/3, 11/5, 11/4 (42m)

[7] Amr Shabana (Egy) 3-0 [Q] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 11/9, 11/7, 11/7 (35m)
Tom Richards (Eng) 3-1 Olli Tuominen (Fin) 11/7, 11/7, 7/11, 11/2 (47m)
Steve Coppinger (Rsa) 3-1 Omar Mosaad (Egy) 8/11, 14/12, 11/8, 11/9 (69m)
[2] Nick Matthew (Eng) 3-0 Simon Rosner (Ger) 12/10, 12/10, 11/6 (46m)

Women’s Round One, Bottom Half:

Camille Serme (Fra) 3-2 Aisling Blake (Irl) 11/7, 9/11, 13/11, 10/12, 11/2 (62m)
[7] Low Wee Wern (Mas) 3-0 [Q] Melody Francis (Aus) 11/1, 11/2, 11/1 (23m)
Rachael Grinham (Aus) 3-0 Latasha Khan (Usa) 11/7, 11/6, 11/4 (23m)

[Q] Joshana Chinappa (Ind) 3-2 [4] Annie Au (Hkg) 5/11, 11/8, 6/11, 11/7, 11/5 (55m)

[6] Alison Waters (Eng) 3-0 Emma Beddoes (Eng) 11/4, 11/3, 11/2 (27m)
Line Hansen (Den) 3-0 Donna Urquhart (Aus) 11/4, 11/5, 13/11 (37m)
Joelle King (Nzl) 3-0 [Q] Coline Aumard (Fra) 11/3, 11/4, 11/3 (21m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 3-0 [2] Laura Massaro (Eng) 11/9, 11/9, 11/7 (40m)

Day Four Roundup

The opening match as the bottom half of round one got under way at Hong Kong Squash Centre was an all-Egyptian affair as Ramy Ashour, the 2010 HK champion seeded five, took on Tarek Momen, who competed well enough in losing two close first games before subsiding in the third as Ashour advanced in just under half an hour.

Next up was the last home representative in the men’s draw, but despite local support and no lack of effort on his part, qualifier Max Lee couldn’t knock Saurav Ghosal out of his speedy stride as the Indian won in straight games to set up a last sixteen meeting with Ashour.

The tin was raised for a pair of women’s matches, the first of which featured good friends Rachael Grinham and Latasha Khan. Grinham, outside the top eight seeds but still a force to be reckoned with, was on top from the beginning and stayed there as she completed a straight-games win.

Then it was HK’s top woman Annie Au, taking on Indian Joshna Chinappa. The Hong Kong girls didn’t enjoy the best form in the world teams in France while the Indians performed beyond their own expectations, and that pattern continued here as Chinappa stunned the home crowd – not to say Annie too – with a five-game win to oust the fourth seed who reached the semis here last year. 

On the upstairs court 9 there were two contrasting women’s matches, first Camille Serme reprised her recent five-setter with Aisling Blake in Shanghai, the Frenchwoman again winning, 11/2 in the fifth this time. Then Low Wee Wern wasted no time in going through to meet Camille, despatching qualifier Melody Francis for the loss of just four points.

Back on the showcourt, straight-game wins against qualifiers were also the order of the day for Nicolas Mueller and Gregory Gaultier – Mueller against Adrian Waller and Gaultier, the third seed and four-time HK finalist, against compatriot Greg Marche.

Relegated to the upstairs court, five-time champion Amr Shabana also faced French opposition, and won three well-contested games against qualifier Mathieu Castagnet.

The women’s matches resumed on the showcourt, and provided the biggest upset yet as Omneya Abdel Kawy, only spared from qualifying by the withdrawal of Jaclyn Hawkes, inflicted mpre pain on the English (she won the deciding match against Jenny Duncalf in the World Teams fianl in Nimes) as she beat second seed Laura Massaro in straight games. All three were close, but Kawy was finding winners when she needed them, and at the right times too.

That was far from the end of the upsets – Steve Coppinger, who like Kawy was saved from having to qualify by a last-minute dropout, came from a game down to beat Omar Mosaad for his biggest-ever win, while Line Hansen finished off the women’s draw with a straight-game upset win over Donna Urquhart. Hansen’s next opponent is Alison Waters, who won her all-English duel with Emma Beddoes in three games.

The final match of the day, of the round, could have produced an upset too, but second seed Nick Matthew saved a game ball to take the first 12/10, and saved two to take the second 12/10 before despatching Simon Rosner 11/6 in the third to complete the last-16 lineups.

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