England’s defending champion James Willstrop will face Egypt’s former champion Ramy Ashour in the final of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open after both players triumphed in straight games in Saturday’s semi-finals of the rain-affected sixth PSA World Series event of the year at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.
Top seed Willstrop, the world number one, beat fourth-seeded Egyptian Karim Darwish 11-8, 11-5, 11-9 in 57 minutes – while Ashour, the No4 seed who won the title in 2010, recorded his second successive win this year over Nick Matthew by beating the world number two from England 11-9, 11-9, 13-11 in 65 minutes.
After taking two close first games, Ashour (pictured in action with Matthew) romped to a 7-2 lead in the third. But Matthew fought back strongly, but two unforced errors at the end cost him as Ashour prevailed to set up an England v Egypt clash for the title.
The matches were scheduled to take place on the new outdoor all-glass showcourt erected at the Cultural Centre on the Hong Kong waterfront at Tsim Sha Tsui – watched by representatives of the IOC – but rain interrupted the first semi (between Willstrop & Darwish) midway through the first game and both matches were rescheduled at the Squash Centre where earlier rounds had taken place.