Home hero and defending champion Max Lee bowed out of the HKFC International, PSA M25 tournament at the first hurdle after falling to a shock defeat against Malaysian qualifier Ivan Yuen – who is ranked 43 places below World No.16 Lee in the World Rankings.
Top seed Lee, who was aiming to lift a third successive HKFC International crown, prevailed in a close opening game, before conceding the next two to Yuen, who then went 6-0 up in the fourth. Lee battled back to level the fixture, before going 5-1 ahead in the deciding game as he looked to escape an upset.
However, Yuen produced a virtuoso fightback to take 10 of the next 12 points on offer, securing arguably the biggest win of his career courtesy of a stunning 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7 scoreline. His reward is a meeting with Rex Hedrick in the last eight after the Australian came back from two games down to defeat another local player, Tsz Fung Yip.
“That's one of my best wins for sure,” said Yuen.
“I played really well, which is very pleasing after not winning a match at the Asian Teams a week ago. At 6-0 in the fourth, I think I relaxed and he came back strongly, but then at 1-5 in the fifth, I just told myself to give everything, that there was no pressure on me and it was all on him.”
Second seed Leo Au was pushed hard by Pakistani qualifier Tayyab Aslam in his opening round fixture and he will meet Egypt’s Mohamed Reda in the next round, with Reda beating wildcard Chi Him Wong to progress.
Elsewhere, World No.76 Mazen Gamal became the second qualifier to advance to the quarter-final after an impressive 3-1 victory against England’s Declan James. Up next for Gamal is a fixture with Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan, who eliminated India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar.
Fifth seed Paul Coll and number four seed Adrian Wallers were the other victors on the opening day of action thanks to respective wins against Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi and James Huang, and they will take on each other for a place in the semi-final.
Results – First Round: Men’s HKFC International 2016
[Q] Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt  Max Lee (HKG) 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7 (69m)
Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt  Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-2: 3-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-4 (55m)
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 14-12 (53m)
 Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [Q] James Huang (TPE) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 (37m)
 Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-0: 11-2, 14-12, 11-7 (38m)
[Q] Mazen Gamal (EGY) bt  Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5 (57m)
 Mohamed Reda (EGY) bt [WC] Chi Him Wong (HKG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-3 (45m)
 Leo Au (HKG) bt [Q] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 3-1: 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 (49m)
Draw – Quarter-Final
[Q] Ivan Yuen (MAS) v Rex Hedrick (AUS)
 Paul Coll (NZL) v  Adrian Waller (ENG)
 Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v [Q] Mazen Gamal (EGY)
 Mohamed Reda (EGY) v  Leo Au (HKG)