Camilleri Causes Maiden Hong Kong Open Shock

Australian qualifier Lisa Camilleri claimed an unexpected place in the second round of the Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open after upsetting 14th seed Isabelle Stoehr in the opening round of the $74,000 WISPA World Tour squash event – the seventh WISPA Gold championship of the year – in Hong Kong.

The 27-year-old from Melbourne was competing in her second Gold event of the year after a run of seven successive WISPA Tour titles on home soil. Ranked 32 in the world, Camilleri recovered from a game down to beat Stoehr, the world No19 from France, 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-4.

“I’d never played Isa before, but I did a bit of training with her in Melbourne last week,” Camilleri told afterwards. “She has such good racket skills, if I left anything short I was in trouble, but when I managed to get my length working I felt more in control.

“I haven’t even looked to see who I play next – this is definitely my best win ever!”

In fact, the Queenslander will face Laura Massaro, the seventh seed from England who provided the only domestic disappointment by beating Hong Kong number three Joey Chan 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8.

It was the only low note on the best ever day for local women in the event as two Hong Kong players secured places in the last 16 for the first time.

Annie Au, the 13th seed who recently became the country’s top-ranked player, despatched Dutch qualifier Orla Noom 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 in just 28 minutes – then 16th seed Rebecca Chiu, the long-time No1 who made her Hong Kong Open debut back in 1993 and has played in the championship every time since, battled to a 50-minute 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10 win over experienced English opponent Tania Bailey.

“The support from the crowd was great, it gave me lots of energy,” said a delighted Chiu, the 31-year-old world No18. “After the first, my coach told me I needed to volley more, to make her do more work, and it paid off.”

Chiu will now face her career-long Asian rival Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who beat England’s Sarah Kippax 11-1, 11-5, 11-4.

“I’ve been in the same spot for the last three years, so I guess I’ll have my annual match with Nicol next,” added the local star on the eve of her third successive second round meeting with David in the Hong Kong Open. “I beat her once in theAsian Games, but otherwise the record doesn’t look very good for me!”

1st round:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Sarah Kippax (ENG) 11-1, 11-5, 11-4 (22m)
[16] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) bt Tania Bailey (ENG) 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10 (50m)
[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8 (41m)
[Q] Lisa Camilleri (AUS) bt [14] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-4 (39m)
[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-3, 11-5, 11-3 (25m)
[9] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) 11-7, 12-10, 11-5 (35m)
[6] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 (48m)
[10] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt Joshna Chinappa (IND) 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 12-10 (36m)
[13] Annie Au (HKG) bt [Q] Orla Noom (NED) 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (28m)
[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [Q] Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (17m)
[11] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10 (61m)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [Q] Tenille Swartz (RSA) 11-4, 11-4, 11-7 (24m)
[15] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (28m)
[8] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [Q] Song Sun-Mi (KOR) 11-6, 11-2, 11-2 (27m)
[12] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) bt [Q] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7 (34m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 11-2, 11-1, 8-11, 11-7 (29m)