Defending champion Joelle King booked her place in the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open courtesy victory over England’s Katie Malliff in 32 minutes. It was the pair’s first match on the PSA Tour. Malliff played some of her best squash in the first game as she tested the experienced Kiwi, but couldn’t take the single game ball opportunity as King took the lead in extra points. King’s quality shone through in the next two games and she closed out the win to move into the quarter-finals.
England No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry will set up a last eight battle with the in-form Joelle King after she beat Scotland’s Lisa Aitken. Perry started on the front foot and was able to find her length immediately as she built up a two game lead. Aitken came out firing in the third and pulled a game back, and led 9-5 in the fourth only for Perry to take the next six points to clinch the victory.
Mostafa Asal continued his attempts to add the Hong Kong Open to his growing trophy cabinet as he recorded straight-games win over fellow Egyptian Yahya Elnawasany.
France’s seventh seed Victor Crouin survived a torrid encounter with Egyptian Aly Abou Eleinen, whose all-action style earned him the first game. Crouin fought back to take the next two, but couldn’t convert the single match ball he had in a fiery fourth as Eleinen forced a decider. The Egyptian was barely able to compete in the fifth, giving up the last few points as Crouin – now without his ‘squashtache’ moved into a last eight meeting with Mostafa Asal.
Nele Gilis sealed her place in the quarter-finals in just 30 minutes as she overcame Yathreb Adel in the third round. Gilis wasted no time in progressing to the quarter-finals as she wrapped up her first two games in eight and seven minutes, and continued to dominate in the third, clinching it 11-8.
Nour ElSherbini ruthlessly put home favourite Tong Tsz-Wing to the sword to reach the quarter-finals. The second seed took the first game with a clinical performance, going 8-0 up and taking the game 11-1. Tong battled back in the second, but El Sherbini proved to be too strong and doubled her advantage 11-7 triumph before rounding off the match 11-5 in the third.
Marwan ElShorbagy saw off France’s Sebastien Bonmalais in four games to reach the quarters. ElShorbagy looked on course to win in straight games, but Bonmalais fought back to take the third, using his speed to his advantage to half the deficit. But the pinpoint accuracy of ElShorbagy and errors from Bonmalais were pivotal, which saw the Egyptian advance to the last eight with a comfortable 11-1 win in the fourth game.
The final match of the day was between Hong Kong’s Alex Lau and the top seed World #2 Paul Coll. Attacking at every opportunity Alex led for the entirety of the game, pulling off another point each time Coll reduced the deficit. He has three game balls at 10-7, had to save one at 11-12, but harried Coll into errors before taking the lead 14-12 to the delight of the packed home crowd. Coll turned the screw to take the next three games without too much drama.