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Title favourite Mohamed ElShorbagy is in action on day one

Key Encounters: Hong Kong Open RD1 Day One


Tuesday August 23 sees the main draw of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open begin with a host of exciting fixtures in the pipeline on the opening day of action at the World Series tournament.

Men’s Draw

ElShorbagy and Simpson clash in April's El Gouna International

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy gets his 2016/17 campaign under way against England’s Chris Simpson as the Egyptian looks to maintain the devastating form that saw him win six out of seven World Series titles last season.

The pair have clashed three times on the PSA World Tour, with ElShorbagy enjoying a 100 per cent win rate in their head-to-head record, including their most recent fixture during April’s El Gouna International, which resulted in a 3-0 win for the man from Alexandria.

Karim Abdel Gawad in action

Pilley v ElShorbagy in last year's final

Last year’s surprise finalist Cameron Pilley will look to go one better than last year and he begins his tournament against home hero Leo Au, while 2011 winner James Willstrop lines up against compatriot Tom Richards in an all-English affair.

‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Angel Rodriguez is also in action on day one against tournament wildcard Tsz Fung Yip and Egyptian maverick Mazen Hesham is set to get his season under way against Nafiizwan Adnan.

World No.10 Tarek Momen and Ryan Cuskelly are the other big names in the top half of the Men’s draw and they begin their tournaments against Alan Clyne and Omar Abdel Meguid, respectively.

Women’s Draw

Nour El Sherbini (right) heads the Women's field

All eyes will be on World No.1 and World Champion Nour El Sherbini in the Women’s draw as she looks to maintain the form that led to her dominating the sport over the past eight months.

The 20-year-old Egyptian missed out on last year’s tournament and the Hong Kong Open remains the only current World Series tournament that El Sherbini has not reached the final of – a record she will been to put right this week.

Compatriot Heba El Torky lies in wait for El Sherbini in round one as the world’s leading female player looks to send out a warning sign to her rivals.

Egyptian shot-making sensation Raneem El Welily began last season having leapfrogged Malaysian superstar Nicol David to top the World Rankings, but went on to endure a difficult nine months and now resides outside of the world’s top three.

However, El Welily displayed some fine form to lift the Windy City Open crown back in March and showed signs that she was getting back to her best with a runner-up finish at the PSA Dubai World Series Finals three months ago.

The current World No.4 reached the semi-final stage of this tournament last year and has a potential banana-skin first round fixture against 2007 Rachael Grinham in store who, at 39 years of age, is the most experienced player in the draw.

Nour El Tayeb (right) celebrates beating Raneem El Welily in last year's US Open

Four months away from competitive action means that World No.16 Nour El Tayeb should finally have shrugged off the shoulder injury that limited her to just three PSA World Tour events last season and she locks horns with Donna Urquhart, the Australian No.1.

Another of the day’s most intriguing matchups features English duo Sarah-Jane Perry and Victoria Lust. There is just one place between the pair in the World Rankings and they clash for the first time since last September, where Perry prevailed 3-0.

United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy and World No.7 Omneya Abdel Kawy also make their first appearances of the season against Joey Chan and Line Hansen, respectively, while Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa and Hong Kong No.1 Annie Au also begin their tournaments.

Chinappa will play Nadine Shahin, with Au set to take on compatriot Liu Tsz-Ling for a place in round two.

Draw – Men’s 2016 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open: Top Half
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
Leo Au (HKG) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) v [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Borja Golan (ESP) v [6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
Tom Richards (ENG) v James Willstrop (ENG)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
[WC] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) v [3] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)

Draw – Women’s 2016 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open: Top Half
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Heba El Torky (EGY)
[Q] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) v [11] Annie Au (HKG)
[10] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v [Q] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
Line Hansen (DEN) v [8] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
[7] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Joey Chan (HKG)
Victoria Lust (ENG) v [12] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
[16] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [3] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

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