The annual squash extravaganza Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash Open 2012 will take place at Hong Kong Squash Centre and Cultural Centre from November 25 to December 2. The world’s top 30 players from the PSA and WSA will once again vie for a lucrative winning purse of HK$1.6 million in the world’s most vibrant city.
This year, the long-established and ever-popular Hong Kong Open has also been chosen as the inspection event for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to determine which of the sports shortlisted should claim a place on the programme for the 2020 Olympiad.
As a centrepiece in the World Squash Federation bid for Olympic inclusion, the Hong Kong Open – having been recognised as one of the favourite and best-organised events – would showcase the best of the sport to impress the IOC delegation.
“Hong Kong Squash is very proud to hold the Hong Kong Open for the 27th time with the support of Cathay Pacific, Sun Hung Kai Financial and all other co-sponsors,” said Mr David Mui, MH, JP, Chairman of Hong Kong Squash. “It also is an honour for us to have the opportunity to present the tournament, and the sport, in its best possible light to IOC delegation to ensure that squash gets the chance we all feel it deserves to become part of the Olympic programme.”
WSF Vice President Heather Deayton added: “We are very happy that the IOC selected Hong Kong for the squash leg of its inspection tour. We are very confident that they will enjoy Hong Kong, and that they will see another great year of the Hong Kong Open.”
The early stages of the tournament will be held at the Squash Centre before moving to the Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui for its semi-finals and finals.
James Willstrop, the world number one and defending champion, is the top seed in the PSA World Series event. The Englishman will face his compatriot Adrian Grant, ranked 19 in the world, in the first round.
Hong Kong hero Leo Au, who recently won his first Hong Kong championship title, will compete in the main draw for the first time via the wild-card. The 22-year-old world No56 will meet fourth seed Karim Darwish from Egypt.
David Mui (centre) pictured with Hong Kong’s leading players
1st round draw:
1 James Willstrop (ENG) v Adrian Grant (ENG)
Ong Beng Hee (MAS) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Borja Golan (ESP) v Qualifier
8 Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v Qualifier
6 Peter Barker (ENG) v Qualifier
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Qualifier
Daryl Selby (ENG) v Alister Walker (BOT)
4 Karim Darwish (EGY) v Leo Au (HKG)
3 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Qualifier
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Qualifier
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Qualifier
5 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Tarek Momen (EGY)
7 Amr Shabana (EGY) v Qualifier
Tom Richards (ENG) v Olli Tuominen (FIN)
Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
2 Nick Matthew (ENG) v Simon Rosner (GER)