Paul Coll defeated Ali Farag to crowded, while Hania El Hammamy successfully defended her title

Organized by Squash Association of Hong Kong, China, and title-sponsored by TTI Milwaukee, the 7-days prestigious “TTI Milwaukee Hong Kong Squash Open 2023” came to an end this evening. In the Men’s event, the No.5 seed Paul Coll upset the top seed Ali Farag in the fifth game to claim his first title of the Hong Kong Squash Open, while the Women’s second seed, Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy defended her title after her opponent, No.3 seed USA’s Amanda Sobhy retired.


It was the first time for the Hong Kong Squash Open to be held at the Cultural Plaza, Xiqu Centre of the West Kowloon District. To introduce Hong Kong’s culture and art to players from all over the world, the organizer invited two young actors, Edgar Ng and Hilvinn Wong from “Barwo” to perform an excerpt to the audience before the finals.


The Women’s final was between the No.2 seed and defending champion, Hania El Hammamy from Egypt and the No.3 seed, Amanda Sobhy from USA. Amanda kept performing outstandingly during the tournament and eliminated the top seed Nour El Sherbini yesterday. In today’s match, Amanda started strongly and took the lead several times in the opening game. Hania then returned to level the score at 5-5, and Amanda unfortunately suffered a leg injury which forced her unable to continue the match.


Hania expressed after the match, “I'm very sad, it's not the way I wanted to win the final today. It's a heartbreak to see Amanda falling on the floor and crying halfway through the first game, so that's not the way I would have loved to defend the title.” 


And the top seed, Egyptian Ali Farag met the No.5 seed, New Zealander Paul Coll in the Men’s Final. Ali, the 2017 and 2018 runner-up, had a good start by taking 12-10 in the first game. Paul Coll then turned the table by getting two games back with a score of 11-3 and 11-8, and Ali tied the match to 2-2 by 11-8. After an 82-minute fight, Paul eventually crowded by 3-2 (10-12, 11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9) to claim his first title in the Hong Kong Squash Open.


Paul expressed his happiness after winning the championship, "It was a tough match. There's a reason why Ali is ranked number one in the world. We both played well, and all the cheers of the audiences motivated us. In the fifth game, I tried to stay positive and proactive instead of adopting a defensive and passive approach. I'm glad I was able to do that."


The Prize Presentation Ceremony was followed by the Men’s Final. Mr. Raistlin Lau Chun, JP, Acting Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Honourable Duncan Chiu, Chairman of Squash Association of Hong Kong, China, the Honourable Vincent Cheng, MH, JP, Vice-Chairman of The Major Sports Events Committee, and Mr. Stephan Horst Pudwill, Vice Chairman of Techtronic Industries Company Limited presented the awards alongside with His Excellency Baher Sheweikhi, Consul General of Egypt in Hong Kong, Mr. Sam Wong Tak Sum, MH, Commissioner for Sports in the Culture, Sports and Tourism and Mr. John Y-M Wong, Vice Chairman of Squash Association of Hong Kong, China to all the winners.


With Paul and Hania accepting their trophies from the distinguished guests, the "2023 TTI Milwaukee Hong Kong Squash Open" came to a successful conclusion.