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Nicol David v Laura Massaro in the 2015 Hong Kong Open final

Throwback Thursday: Story of 2015 Women’s Hong Kong Open


The first steps towards the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals will be made between Tuesday August 23 – Sunday August 28 as the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open gets under way.

The world’s best female players will be bidding to win the first World Series tournament of the 2016/17 season, with valuable points for the PSA Road to Dubai Standings – in which only the top eight qualify for the lucrative World Series Finals – in the offering.

Last year’s Hong Kong Open was the final World Series tournament of 2015 and we’re having a look back at a thrilling week of swashbuckling squash.

First Round Results
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [Q] Siyoli Waters (RSA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (24m)
[9] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [Q] Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-2: 11-7, 4-11, 9-11, 11-5, 14-12 (67m)
[12] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 3-1: 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-1 (40m)
[8] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (28m)
[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4 (38m)
[13] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt [Q] Samantha Teran (MEX) 3-0: 11-9, 11-1, 12-10 (42m)
[16] Heba El Torky (EGY) bt [Q] Vanessa Chu (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (29m)
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Christine Nunn (AUS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (26m)
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 11-9, 13-11, 11-6 (38m)
[14] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Habiba Mohamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-2 (19m)
[11] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [Q] Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (28m)
[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 3-1: 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3 (27m)
Joelle King (NZL) bt [7] Annie Au (HKG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 (43m)
[15] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt [Q] Megan Craig (NZL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (26m)
[10] Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 3-2: 3-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8, 12-10 (70m)
[2] Nicol David (MAS) bt [WC] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 16-14 (35m)

Defending champion Nicol David got her title defence off to a perfect start after overcoming tournament wildcard Liu Tsz-Ling in straight games to win a 46th successive Hong Kong Open fixture.

There were also wins for Egyptian shot-making sensation Raneem El Welily, England No.1 Laura Massaro and British Open champion Camille Serme, while Hong Kong No.1 Annie Au was the only seeded player to miss out on a spot in the second round after losing to New Zealand’s Joelle King.

Second Round Results
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [9] Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3 ret. (14m)
[8] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [12] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (33m)
[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [13] Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (34m)
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [16] Heba El Torky (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 14-12 (35m)
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [14] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 3-1: 7-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (45m)
[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [11] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-2: 11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 9-11, 11-7 (39m)
Joelle King (NZL) bt [15] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6 (64m)
[2] Nicol David (MAS) bt [10] Delia Arnold (MAS) 3-0: 11-1, 11-4, 11-3 (20m)

Serme flirted with elimination during her second round encounter with then World No.16 Dipika Pallikal Karthik, dropping the first game before recovering to push through a 3-1 triumph.

Meanwhile, eight-time World Champion David kept up her flawless progress with a comfortable 3-0 win over fellow Malaysian Delia Arnold to set up a tantalising quarter-final clash with King, who came out on top after a brutal clash with Joshna Chinappa.

Away from the glare of the SQUASHTV cameras, Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy and 2007 World Champion Rachael Grinham played out a highly-entertaining five-game affair, with Kawy eventually advancing to the last eight.

Quarter-Final Results
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [8] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (22m)
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1: 11-5, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6 (43m)
[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [4] Camille Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (28m)
[2] Nicol David (MAS) bt Joelle King (NZL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (29m)

Massaro took on World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar in one of the standout quarter-final fixtures.

Both players took a game apiece before the Englishwoman’s experience soon told and she battled to victory in four to set up a semi-final clash with El Welily – who dispatched United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy – where victory would see Massaro overtake the Egyptian at the summit of the World Rankings.

David overcame King in another of the quarter-final fixtures, while Kawy claimed a surprise 3-0 victory over Serme to reach a third successive World Series semi-final.

Semi-Final Results
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (33m)
[2] Nicol David (MAS) bt [5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 (24m)

Massaro put in an immaculate display to see of El Welily in straight games, ensuring that she would leapfrog her to become only the third Englishwoman ever – and the first since 2004 – to top the World Rankings the following month.

The 32-year-old’s dominant early season form had already seen her claim the Delaware Investments US Open and Qatar Classic crowns and she was set to appear in a fourth straight World Series final for the first time in her career.

She would face David in a mouthwatering title-decider, with the Malaysian exhibiting some immaculate squash to ease past Kawy and reach a tenth consecutive Hong Kong Open final.

Final Result
[2] Nicol David (MAS) bt [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-0: 15-13, 11-5, 11-3 (39m)

David’s love affair with the Hong Kong Open continued after she powered to victory against the new World No.1 to maintain her decade-long grasp on the distinguished World Series title and bring up a half-century of straight wins in Hong Kong.

It was also David’s first World Series triumph in over a year and her success gave her a vital boost on the Road to Dubai Standings, catapulting her to an eventual top-three finish and a place in Dubai.

Watch David and Massaro go head-to-head below!

Log in to SQUASHTV to watch more of David’s Hong Kong heroics – including the 2014 final against Nour El Tayeb.

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