Clean Sweep for the Seeds

Top seed Nouran Gohar, the 2016 Hong Kong Open champion, had a far from comfortable afternoon as a superb performance from World No.40 Japan’s Satomi Watanabe saw her take the World no. 1 to two tie-breaks in the opening two games. Watanabe fought back from 9-6 down in the opening game to hold a game ball, and recovered from 6-9 down in the second to force extra points once more. Having edged the first two, Gohar was in the zone in the third game and quickly went 5-0 up, maintaining the lead to complete the win.

Third seed Hania El Hammamy ended a three-match losing streak against fellow Egyptian Nour El Tayeb to set up a mouthwatering semi-final battle with bitter rival Nouran Gohar.

Diego Elias booked his place in the semi-finals for the first time after he overcame Egypt’s Youssef Soliman in a testing battle. Today’s match was a hugely competitive match, with Elias having to overturn deficits in both of the opening two games. In the third though, Elias was dominant, with Soliman giving up the ghost with a few points to go.

Winners of the last two PSA tournaments – Mohamed ElShorbagy in Singapore and Mazen Hesham in Malaysia – this match started with ElShorbagy on a hot streak which saw him take a 5-0 advantage in the opening game. Hesham steadied but couldn’t close the gap, and ElShorgbagy took the opening two games, then went quickly 8–1 up in the third at which point Hesham all but gave up the ghost.

Fourth seed Joelle King, whose sole Platinum event win to date came in Hong Kong four years ago, blitzed Perry 11-4 in the opening game with an impressive performance. Despite going behind in the second game, Perry battled back to draw level at 6-6 but King’s speed and accuracy saw her nudge back ahead before taking the game 11-7. Perry stood toe-to-toe with King in the third, but the New Zealand No.1 proved to be too strong in the end to pull away and cement her place in the semi-finals.

Nour El Sherbini maintained her 100 percent record against top ten newcomer Nele Gilis to five wins to advance to the last four. El Sherbini was ruthless in the first game, winning 11-4, before extending her lead 11-8. A strong fightback from Gilis in the third was almost rewarded with her halving the deficit, but El Sherbini saved one game ball and came out on top 13-11.

Mostafa Asal is through to the semi-finals for the first time after a clinical display against Victor Crouin. Asal raced into a 6-0 lead in the first game and showed no sign of letting up as he took the first 11-3. The Egyptian’s momentum continued in the second game went 6-2 up before taking the game 11-3 again. The match was sewn up in just 33 minutes, Asal taking another 11-3 win in the third.

The top seed Paul Coll, who was defeated by Marwan’s brother Mohamed in the quarter-finals in the 2018 edition, has reached his first Hong Kong semi-final after he saw off Marwan ElShorbagy in four games by 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9.