After a three-year absence, the Everbright Securities International Hong Kong Squash Open 2022 kicked off at Hong Kong Squash Centre for an opening day featuring 32 first round matches across four courts, including the refurbished all-Glass Centre Court.
The opening match saw HK’s Tomato Ho take a comfortable win over the wildcard Fung Ching Hei, setting up a meeting with top seed and World #1 Nouran Gohar tomorrow. “My goal was to win 3-0,” said Ho. “Luckily, I could do that today. I don’t really feel satisfied with my performance though, because I was a bit tense so my length wasn’t that good. Hopefully tomorrow my length can work better.”
On the men’s side it was so close but so far for Hong Kong #1 Henry Leung, who looked to be on the verge of victory at 10-6 in the deciding game, but it was Colombia’s Juan Camilo Vargas who took the next six points to snatch victory in 75 minutes.
Elsewhere it was a good session for the Egyptians with Zeina Mickawy, Sana Ibrahim and Fayrouz Aboelkheir progressing to the women’s second round, while Mohamed ElSherbini and Karim El Hammamy both progressed at the expense of HK wildcards, although Wong Chi Him and Tang Ming Hong both took a game off their much higher-ranked opponents.
The evening session started as the afternoon, with a popular home win on the show court, Lee Ka Yi overcoming promising Egyptian junior Zeina Zein in four games. “I was a bit nervous today,” admitted Lee. “I’m happy to get the win, but in the second game I was 6-0 up and lost it, which is a bit disappointing. I tried to regroup and improve my length and my shots. I’m happy to win 3-1 and enter the second round of the Hong Kong Open for the first time”.
The Egyptian winners kept on coming as Hana Moataz, Jana Shiha, Yathreb Adel and Nour Aboulmakarim all advanced to women’s round two, Shiha taking out the last wildcard entry Cheng Nga Ching.
The last two matches of the day produced two more home winners as Tong Tsz-Wing and Tsz Kwan Lau both won tough encounters against Egyptian opponents. “It feels amazing to win at home and get the support of the home crowd,” said Lau. “It’s been four years since the Hong Kong Open was last held] and it is my first time in the main draw. I’m really looking to perform well and I hope I can get another win in front of my family and my friends.”