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Diego Elias

Hong Kong Open - Day 4: As It Happens

Round three of the Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open takes place today, as the competition begins to hot up.

You can watch LIVE coverage on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player or follow our live scoring page.

The action begins on the centre court with World No.1 Nour El Sherbini taking on United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy in what is sure to be an exciting battle.

Meanwhile, the first men's match will see Egypt's reigning World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy take on England's Tom Richards for a place in the quarter-finals.

You can also watch the action live from court nine on our YouTube channel below.

We'll also have reports and reaction from all of today's matches right here.

Centre court – Live on SQUASHTV & Eurosport Player
12:00 [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Amanda Sobhy (USA)
13:00 [5] Joelle King (NZL) v Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
14:00 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Tom Richards (ENG)
15:00 Declan James (ENG) v [6] Paul Coll (NZL)
17:00 [4] Camille Serme (FRA) v Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
18:00 [13] Victoria Lust (ENG) v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
19:00 Diego Elias (PER) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)
20:00 Zahed Salem (EGY) v [5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)

Court 9
Afternoon session
12:00 [12] Tesni Evans (WAL) v [8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
13:00 [14] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v [3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
14:00 [7] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
15:00 Raphael Kandra (GER) v [3] Tarek Momen (EGY)

16:00 [9] Alison Waters (ENG) v [7] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
17:00 Yathreb Adel (EGY) v Joey Chan (HKG)
18:00 [4] Simon Rösner (GER) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
19:00 [8] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)

El Sherbini and Perry Set Up Quarters Clash

Egypt’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini reached the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open after a hard-fought battle with United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy.

El Sherbini started well to build up a two-game lead as she executed her game plan well. However, Sobhy fought back in the third to reduce the deficit to cause the Egyptian World No.1 problems as she began to move her more around the court and test her.

It proved to be a tight ending to the third with Sobhy twice failing to execute her game ball, before El Sherbini suffered the same fate with her match ball as she looked to take a 3-0 victory. However, American Sobhy eventually seized her chance to take a 13-11 win and take the match to a fourth.

That game proved to follow a similar pattern as Sobhy once again held two game balls but squandered them, leading to her having to save a second match ball from the Egyptian before El Sherbini was eventually able to take the victory when Sobhy hit an error to hand the Egyptian a last eight place.

The World No.1 will now face England’s Sarah-Jane Perry after she came from 2-0 down to win in five in an enthralling battle against Welshwoman Tesni Evans.

“It was a tough match,” said El Sherbini following her win.

“Amanda was top ten and then she had her injury but she’s back and playing so good and is one of the top ten players and I’m sure she will be back there very soon.

“It’s a very tough draw for me to play her and face her in the second round – it’s very early – but I just tried to be focused from the start and had a good plan.

“She came back very strong and in the fourth I had match ball and she had a couple of game balls, so I had to be strong mentally to finish the match and I think I played well and I’m excited to move to the other court.

“I think in the first two games I was playing really well and sticking to my plan and then in the third she started to move me a lot around the court and I lost my concentration a little bit but I think being strong mentally was why I won.

“Tesni has joined the top ten and is playing really well and SJ won in San Francisco and has been consistent at the start of the season. I’m just looking forward and hopefully I will have my coach with me and I’m looking forward to the second round.”

[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 13-11 (44m)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [12] Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-2: 7-11, 15-17, 11-8, 11-3, 11-4 (78m)

King Reigns Against El Hammamy

New Zealand’s World No.7 Joelle King utilised her experience to see off Egyptian teenager Hania El Hammamy and reach the last eight of the PSA Platinum tournament.

King took the opening game before El Hammamy – who enjoyed a big win against United States Olivia Blatchford Clyne in the previous round – battled back in the second to draw level.

The New Zealander was able to regain control though as she took a 2-1 lead before comfortably closing out in the fourth to win 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-3 in 41 minutes.

“It was a tough match the whole way through,” said the 30-year-old.

“Hania had a great win against Olivia and I have been watching her improve over the months, so I knew it was going to be a tough one so I’m really happy to come away with the win and that I came through a tough match well.

“We play quite a similar game, we both like pace and to make the game physical so I think I had to use a bit of experience in patches. You can’t really say it was easy through any point in the match, even the last game which was 11-3. Against someone who fights the way she does you have to play right until the last point and I think experience was what got me through today.

“The crowds here in Hong Kong always turn out and they seem to appreciate both men’s and women’s squash, so I hope we give them so good matches and I’m looking forward to playing another day.

“I lost to Joshna in the first tournament of the season and Nour and I played a lot last year but this year we have only played in an exhibition. At this level it is really a case of on the day who plays their best level on court. They have both been playing well and getting through the tournament seedings.”

King will now face Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb in the quarter-finals after she defeated India’s Joshna Chinappa by a 3-1 scoreline.

[5] Joelle King (NZL) bt Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-3 (41m)
[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [14] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-1: 11-6, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8 (41m)

ElShorbagy Powers Past Richards

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy continued his strong start at the Hong Kong Open after he defeated England’s World No.28 Tom Richards in straight-games.

ElShorbagy picked up from where he left off in his performance from round two – where he stormed past Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly – as he put Richards to the sword at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.

The defending champion got off to a strong start to open up a 2-0 lead before Richards started to put some pressure on the Egyptian in the third.

Richards took a 9-8 lead, however, ElShorbagy’s experience proved to be too much for the Englishman to handle in the end after he battled through the third to win 11-6, 11-7, 12-10.

The Egyptian will now face the winner of Declan James v Paul Coll in the quarter-finals.

“I’m really happy,” said the 27-year-old afterwards.

“Tom has been playing really well this season and has had a lot of good wins. He is definitely back to where he was at his best level again and I had to be sharp from the first point. I think the court suited me more than him so that helped me a little bit at the start of each game. Overall, I’m really pleased with my performance, it’s such a big bonus to get into the quarters and win the match in three.

“The third showed the great player he is because he kept fighting even though he was 2-0 down and he didn’t let go. He put me under a lot of pressure, I was down 9-8, and I had to find a way to try and sneak that game out because I knew that if I lost that game then anything could happen.

“I just kept fighting and when the situation is 10-10 it can be a lottery and luckily it paid off for me.

“They have both had a great start. Paul has been playing well and Declan has been having some great results. It will be a great match between the both of them, Paul is in a slightly different situation now as he is the higher seeded player these days, so it’s a different pressure. While, Declan is the English No.1 now so it is a different pressure for him and it will be an interesting match, whoever I face.”

Elsewhere, ElShorbagy’s compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar came through his third round clash with Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng unscathed, completing a 12-10, 11-4, 11-4 win in 28 minutes.

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 (31m)
[7] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-4 (28m)

Coll Edges Past James

New Zealand’s World No.8 Paul Coll was pushed all the way by England’s No.1 Declan James to book a place in the Hong Kong Open quarter-finals for the first time.

Coll was forced to come from behind in each game as James took the lead with the New Zealand player forced to dig deep and call upon the best shots in his arsenal.

James consistently got off to the better start in each game but was unable to convert the big chances in the match with higher seeded Coll – who is known as one of the fittest players on the Men’s Tour – being able to utilise his experience to win 13-11, 11-9, 11-9 in a 60-minute attritional battle.

The Kiwi will now face World No.1 and defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy in the quarter-finals.

“He’s playing some great squash,” said the 26-year-old.

“It was a bit stop-start which isn’t always the game I like but I’m happy I kept my game in tact and was able to close out in three because he was playing well. His forehand was ripping it in today and he was keeping it short and I’m really happy to win in three and be through to my first quarter-finals here.

“I knew what I had to do but I felt like I would get onto it and then there would be a stoppage, so I just had to keep telling myself that once there was a stoppage that I would keep playing my game and not get sucked into just hitting it down the side wall and I had to inflict my own game.

“Every time there was a stoppage I felt like I could lose that momentum and he would put the ball away sharply. I felt mentally it was a tough test for me and I’m glad I passed it.

“We played at the U.S. Open [against Mohamed ElShorbagy] and I felt pretty good on court and it was a tight battle, he really dug in at the end and closed it out like he does at the end. I’m going to have to be consistent throughout the entire match and not really have any bad patches because if I drop off mentally or anything then he will make me pay for it.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge, he’s the best in the world and it will be a good test for me.”

Elsewhere on the side courts, Egypt’s Tarek Momen defeated Germany’s Raphael Kandra in four games and will now face compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar in what is sure to be a high-quality match in the quarter-finals.

[6] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-0: 13-11, 11-9, 11-9 (60m)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-1: 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 (44m)

Serme Reaches Quarters

France’s World No.4 Camille Serme reached her fifth successive Hong Kong Open quarter-final after defeating England’s Millie Tomlinson in straight-games.

Tomlinson enjoyed the biggest win of her career in the last round when she knocked out ten-time tournament champion Nicol David in five-games, however, the Englishwoman was unable to implement that same upset against an in-form Serme.

The French No.1 ensured she was on her metal to secure a straight-games win in 32 minutes and set up a quarter-final clash with Egypt’s Nouran Gohar.

“As professional athletes we also see the negatives and what could have been better but obviously winning 3-0 is very positive,” said the 29-year-old afterwards.

“She beat Nicol David yesterday, so that was in my mind and I was very careful and ready for that match.

“Last time I played Millie was at the British Open and I won quite comfortably and when you see that she can beat Nicol then you are a bit more wary and ready for a tough battle.

“I know it’s going to be a tough battle [against Nouran Gohar]. I know her game, it’s her game and not many other players have the same type of game – it’s very powerful. I’m just ready and looking forward to another quarter-final here.”

Serme will now face Nouran Gohar after she defeated England's Alison Waters in straight-games on the side courts.

[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 (32m)
[7] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [9] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0: 14-12, 12-10, 11-8 (37m)

El Welily Sets Up Quarters Clash with Chan

Egypt’s World No.2 Raneem El Welily defeated England’s World No.16 Victoria Lust in four games to set up an exciting quarter-final prospect against home favourite Joey Chan.

The last time the two players met on the PSA Tour, Lust caused the reigning World Champion a whole host of problems as she took a 2-0 lead at the British Open before El Welily fought back to win in five.

This match looked as though it could prove to be another challenging one for the Egyptian as Lust started well to open up a 1-0 lead.

El Welily, however, showed that her mental edge had become more consistent after she cut out the errors that cost her in the beginning to recover well and close out a 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 win in 37 minutes.

“We have had very close matches in the past,” said El Welily.

“Going one game down in the beginning didn’t help mentally but I’m really glad with the way I pushed myself in that second game and it gave me a confidence boost and get the momentum. It was a bit scrappy in some parts but I’m glad I managed to keep my composure and get the win.

“She’s definitely very talented with the racket and hides her shots so well. She has a few shots that I can’t read. It doesn’t help that this court is dead as well, it was so cold today but overall I’m pleased with the way I played and hopefully this will give me an edge to make me play better today.

“I remember playing Joey here a few years ago and it was very close and a very good match. I’m looking forward to playing her again tomorrow and she must be playing really well this week.

“It’s always nice to have a crowd whether they are with you or against you. We have played many times in Egypt when the crowd is on our side so it’s only fair that we play in other locations. The crowd here is really fair and they all like a good match.”

Hong Kong's Joey Chan kept the home support happy after she defeated Egypt's Yathreb Adel – who enjoyed a huge upset over Laura Massaro yesterday.

[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [13] Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (37m)
Joey Chan (HKG) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-1: 11-2, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8 (34m)

Farag Prevails Against Peru’s Elias

Egypt’s World No.2 Ali Farag claimed a quarter-final berth after coming through a tough four-game battle with Peru’s World No.12 Diego Elias.

Farag looked as though he had the perfect game plan as he started confidently in the first two games to open up a 2-0 lead.

However, Elias regrouped in the break to launch a comeback in the third, which saw him begin to frustrate last year’s runner-up Farag to take a 12-10 win and get a foothold back in the game.

The ‘Peruvian Puma’ continued to unnerve Farag in the fourth, with a few moments see the Egyptian lose his composure. However, Farag did manage to gather himself and start to find his accuracy again to close out an 11-4, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8 in 63 minutes.

Farag will now face compatriot and former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad in the quarter-finals after he defeated home hope Tsz Fung Yip in straight-games.

“I’m very pleased,” said Farag afterwards.

“I thought I started very well and I know exactly how dangerous he is. I saw how well he played yesterday against a top player in Saurav [Ghosal] so I knew I had to be firing from the beginning and I thought I did that well. I was controlling the ‘T’ for most of the first two games and for most of the third as well until I let a few decisions get in my head, which was very immature of myself.

“But he dug in there and never made it easy until the end and then in the fourth I had to reset again because I got a little tense and I’m happy I got through that fourth.

“He’s full of confidence after beating the World No.1 [in Qatar] and then Saurav yesterday. If I started a little slower then maybe he would have grown in confidence so to get off to that good start was crucial.

“He’s [Karim Abdel Gawad] definitely playing a lot better than last season. You can see he is more in shape. Growing up and playing him in juniors we played about 30 times and I maybe won only a handful of them. He knows I hate playing with him and he is my bogey man on tour.

“I’m just going to give it my best, the last two times I was lucky enough to win but I’m sure he is going to be looking for revenge and coming out firing, so I’m going to be ready for him.”

Elsewhere, Simon Rosner defeated Switzerland's Nicolas Mueller in straight-games to reach the quarter-finals.

[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-1: 11-4, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8 (63m)
[4] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-7 (28m)
[8] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Tsz Fung Yip 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (34m)

Colombia’s Rodriguez Downs Salem to Reach Quarters

A clinical performance from ‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Angel Rodriguez saw him book a quarter-finals spot in Hong Kong after defeating Egypt’s Zahed Salem in straight-games.

The World No.7 played out an incredible performance against Hong Kong’s Max Lee last night which went all the way to five-games, however, Rodriguez was able to close out much quicker tonight as he saw off Salem 3-0 in a mature performance.

Following his 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 win, Rodriguez will now face Germany’s Simon Rösner in the quarter-finals after he defeated ‘Swiss Rocket’ Nicolas Mueller earlier in the day.

“I think my performance was much better than yesterday,” said the 32-year-old.

“I felt much better on court and I was hitting my targets. I was enjoying it a little bit more and I was more fluid on court. I’m very glad that I could close the match in three-games, usually that doesn’t happen, but I thought I played much better and I hope to play through the rest of the tournament with that confidence and I’m happy to make my second quarter-finals here in Hong Kong.

“It was key to win in three games. I was a little bit sore because I hit my quadriceps with Max Lee, so I was a bit sore this morning, but I did what I needed to do in the gym and on court. I hope this match helps be in form tomorrow.

“I played Simon in the U.S. Open, it was a good match. He played steady in that game, so I just want to play like I did today with no pressure. We are going to move to the other centre, so this is going to be my first performance over there and this motivates me to play at my 100% tomorrow.”

[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Zahed Salem (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (41m)

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