The 2015 PSA Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open gets underway on Tuesday 1 December with the sport’s top competitors all wanting to hit their peak in the final PSA World Series event of 2015.
As a leading event on the PSA World Tour the Hong Kong Open continues to attract squash’s elite performers, and this year sees reigning champion Mohamed ElShorbagy looking to retain his title whilst newly crowned World Champion Gregory Gaultier will be hoping to continue his successful season.
In the women’s draw, World No. 2 Nicol David boasts an outstanding record in this event, having won the tournament on eight consecutive occasions between 2006 and 2014. However, World No.1 Raneem El Welily and the in-form Englishwomen Laura Massaro will be looking to buck the trend by mounting a serious challenge for the title this year.
We’re inviting you to get inspired by looking back at last year’s event which saw a series of remarkable upsets in the women’s draw and several monumental clashes in the men’s competition, including a titanic battle in the final.
Egypt’s Tarek Momen caused the biggest stir in Round 1 of the men’s draw eliminating Former World No.1 James Willstrop with an impressive 3-0 victory. Meanwhile, Joe Lee and Mohamed Abouelghar enjoyed an epic battle which the Egyptian player eventually won 3-2 to progress to the second round.
In the first round of the women's draw, 16-year-old Nouran Gohar grabbed all the headlines by producing a blistering display to beat the No.14 seed Joshna Chinappa 3-0. Top seeds Nicol David and Laura Massaro breezed through to the second round, both winning 3-0 in their opening encounters.
Switzerland's Nicolas Mueller and France's Gregoire Marche thoroughly entertained the Hong Kong crowds in round two, sharing a five game thriller which Mueller eventually won 3-2. Further to this, tournament favourites Gregory Gaultier and Mohamed Elshorbagy both reached the quarter-finals with competent 3-0 victories respectively.
Nour El Tayeb upset the women's seedings in the second round, knocking out No.5 seed Low Wee Wern after a gruelling five game match. Similarly, Hong Kong's Joey Chan delighted her home supporters by sweeping past No. 7 seed Omney Abdel Kawy, causing another big shock in the early stages of the women's competition.
Tarek Momen maintained his outstanding form in the event by defeating Germany's Simon Rosner 3-2 in the quarter-finals, whilst Gregory Gaultier, Borja Golan and Mohamed Elshorbagy also progressed to the semi-final stage.
Top seeds continued to fall in the women's draw with American Amanda Sobhy downing France's No.3 seed Camille Serme and England's Alison Waters lost out to underdog Nour El Tayeb, who progressed to the semi finals along with Nicol David and Laura Massaro.
The men's semi-finals provided no real surprises with No.1 seed Gaultier beating Momen 3-0, and No.2 seed Elshorbagy defeating Golan 3-1, setting up a tantalising final between the pair.
In the women's semi-finals, tournament favourite David overcame Sobhy 3-0 to reach the her eighth consecutive Hong Kong Open final, whilst Massaro unexpectedly fell short against El Tayeb, the Egyptian booking her place in the final with a 3-1 win.
The men's final between Gaultier and Elshorbagy was an explosive and highly competitive affair, ultimately going down to fifth game decider. However, Elshorbagy's physical prowess and powerful hitting prevailed in the deciding game, winning it 11-4 to secure the title.
The women's final was a more one-sided encounter, and despite the best efforts of El Tayeb, the Egyptian couldn't prevent the imperious David from obtaining her eighth consecutive Hong Kong Open title.