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Key Encounters: Hong Kong Open RD1 Day Two


The first World Series tournament of the 2016/17 season – the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open – continues today as a number of fan favourites on the bottom half of the draw get their tournaments under way on day two.

Men’s Draw

Ramy Ashour in action during the 2016 Allam British Open

Fares Dessouky during the 2016 El Gouna International

Another of the day’s standout fixtures is an all-Egyptian affair between World No.15 Fares Dessouky and Mohamed Abouelghar, the latter of whom is ranked 22 places below his opponent in the World Rankings.

Dessouky, the 2015 PSA Young Player of the Year, had a fairly inauspicious start to last season but ended it by reaching his first World Series semi-final and breaking the world’s top 15 for the first time.

Both player have won a game each in their head-to-head record, with Dessouky triumphing in the pair’s most recent encounter – a 3-0 win in the younger Egyptian’s favour during 2014’s Allam British Open.

Gregory Gaultier celebrates winning the PSA Dubai World Series Finals with son, Nolan.

World Champion Gregory Gaultier also begins his tournament on day two and will face fellow Frenchman Gregoire Marche for a place in the second round after Marche battled through qualifying to reach the main draw.

Coming just a day after compatriot Yip Tsz Fung secured his second round berth with a stunning win over World No.5 Miguel Angel Rodriguez, World No.18 Max Lee will look to give the home crowd even more to celebrate and opens up against England’s Joe Lee, while fourth seed Marwan ElShorbagy is also in action against Nicolas Mueller.

Mathieu Castagnet, Ali Farag, and Simon Rösner will also feature on day two and face Raphael Kandra, Zahed Mohamed and Cesar Salazar, respectively.

Women’s Draw

Malaysia’s eight-time World Champion Nicol David will look to extend her unprecedented dominance of this tournament as she kicks off her tournament against Welsh World No.28 Tesni Evans.

David has won 10 successive Hong Kong Open crowns and currently boasts an incredible 50-match unbeaten run at this tournament, with her victory over World No.2 Laura Massaro in last year’s final ending a 14-month World Series title drought.

The odds are heavily stacked in David’s favour, but the 32-year-old will need to be at her best if she is to fend off the attentions of her talented opponent and set up a clash with either Joelle King or Nicolette Fernandes in the second round.

Laura Massaro

England No.1 Massaro begins her season against 15-year-old Egyptian Hania El Hammamy as experience meets youth in an exciting prospective clash.

World No.43 El Hammamy has already demonstrated her considerable potential in the past, lifting her first PSA World Tour title in March of last year in addition to winning the British Junior U17 Open seven months ago.

Massaro’s superior experience is likely to stand the Lancastrian in good stead as she bids to go one better than last year and the former World Champion will have fond memories of Hong Kong after her semi-final victory over Egypt’s Raneem El Welily during last year’s tournament sent her to the summit of the World Rankings.

A determined Serme during the 2016 Allam British Open

World No.6 Camille Serme locks horns with Indian No.2 Dipika Pallikal Karthik in another of the day’s most intriguing fixtures, while World No.11 Alison Waters takes on a former World No.5 in Low Wee Wern.

Meanwhile, former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf will need to be wary of the home support behind wildcard Ho Tze-Lok as she looks to recapture the form that took her to a runner-up finish in 2010.

World No.5 Nouran Gohar is also competing on day two against Olivia Blatchford of the United States, while England’s Emily Whitlock and Egypt’s Marian Metwally complete the line-up.

Draw – Men’s 2016 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open: Bottom Half
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Simon Rösner (GER)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v [5] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[7] Ali Farag (EGY) v [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER)
Max Lee (HKG) v [Q] Joe Lee (ENG)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

Draw – Women’s 2016 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open: Bottom Half
[4] Nicol David (MAS) v [Q] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[Q] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) v [9] Joelle King (NZL)
[14] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [WC] Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)
Dipika Pallikal (IND) v [6] Camille Serme (FRA)
[5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
[Q] Low Wee Wern (MAS) v [13] Alison Waters (ENG)
[15] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY)
[Q] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v [2] Laura Massaro (ENG)

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