Hong Kong Roundup: Yip Stuns Richards To Make History
Tsz Fung Yip became the first local player in over 15 years to reach the second round of the Men’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, PSA World Series tournament, after upsetting the odds to defeat Englishman Tom Richards in a gripping first round encounter.
The 22-year-old world No.59 put in the performance of his career as he controlled the court against Richards, the current No.23 who previously ranked as high as No.12, dominating proceedings throughout a thrilling five-game encounter that saw him become the first local player to reach the second round since Faheem Khan in 1998.
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Yip, who earned his place in the main draw after defeating Mahesh Mangaonkar in the final round of qualification, could easily have taken the match in straight-games but saw nerves get the better of him as he squandered commanding leads in the second and fourth games – including wasting three match balls in the fourth. But he managed to regain his composure in the fifth to seal the biggest win of his career 11-6, 9-11, 11-1, 10-12, 11-9.
“Of course I am very happy to win today as it wasn’t something I expected to happen,” said Yip.
“To win a match in a big tournament like thais against such a good player is a huge win for me – iIt’s a great day and I can’t wait to play in the second round now.
“I had match ball at 10-7 in the fourth and I got very nervous. I wanted to win as fast as possible and I got too excited. I needed to go back to the game plan in the fifth and it was very tough to refocus but I tried to play it one shot at a time and thankfully it worked out for me.”
Compatriot Leo Au had no such joy despite impressing in defeat as he fell to a 3-1 loss to World Champion Gregory Gaultier. The 25-year-old produced some sublime winners as he played without fear of the Frenchman who recently topped the World Rankings but ultimately couldn’t halt the charge of Gaultier.
Results – First Round (Bottom Half) 2015 Men’s Hong Kong Open, PSA World Series:
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [WC] Leo Au (HKG) 3-1: 11-3, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7 (53m)
James Willstrop (ENG) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 13-15, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (60m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Rex Hedrick (AUS) 3-0: 11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (34m)
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Olli Tuominen (FIN) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-3 (34m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 12-10, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6 (52m)
[Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-2: 11-6, 9-11, 11-1, 10-12, 11-9 (63m)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-3, 10-12, 11-8 (49m)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-9 (38m)
Draw – Second Round: 2015 Men’s Hong Kong Open, PSA World Series:
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Q] Lucas Serme (FRA)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v James Willstrop (ENG)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v  Simon Rösner (GER)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)