Local Hopes Dashed In Hong Kong Qualifiers

Hopes of extra local interest in the main draw of the Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open were dashed when all six Hong Kong players crashed out of the qualifying finals of the $74,000WISPA World Tour squash event, the seventh WISPA Gold championship of the year.

Tenille Swartz was responsible for the most unexpected downfall when the world No74 from South Africa defeated Elise Ng, ranked 52 in the world, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6.

Swartz, troubled by a shoulder injury over the past two years, is battling to regain the form which took her to a career-high world No28 in 2008 – and is now celebrating her first appearance in a WISPA Gold event since making the main draw of theHong Kong Open in 2007.

“My goal coming into this tournament was to qualify, so I’m happy to have achieved that, and I’d like to get my ranking back up to where I don’t have to,” Swartz explained to www.squashsite.co.uk afterwards. “I knew it wouldn’t be easy though, Elise is a good player – but we’ve played a few times before so I knew what to expect.”

Swartz now faces England’s Alison Waters, the No4 seed, in the first round. “I’m looking forward to playing Alison again; I played her last time I was in the main draw here!”

Korean Song Sun-Mi will celebrate her second successive appearance in a WISPA Gold event after beating Hong Kong’sTong Tsz-Wing 11-8, 11-7, 11-6. The 20-year-old from Kyung-Do will now line up against Australian Kasey Brown, the No8 seed.

Despite the qualifying disappointment, Hong Kong interest will be well-served in the main draw by Annie Au and Rebecca Chiu – seeded 13 and 16, respectively – and unseeded Joey Chan.

Chiu, who made her maiden appearance in the event in 1993, will take on England’s Tania Bailey, while Au will face Dutch qualifier Orla Noom. Chan will also face an English challenge, from No7 seed Laura Massaro.

Qualifying finals:
Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Ho Ka Po (HKG) 11-3, 11-3, 11-4 (19m)
Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS) bt Lauren Selby (ENG) 11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8 (37m)
Orla Noom (NED) bt Carmen Lee (HKG) 11-7, 11-2, 11-2 (22m)
Song Sun-Mi (KOR) bt Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (31m)
Tenille Swartz (RSA) bt Elise Ng (HKG) 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (30m)
Lisa Camilleri (AUS) bt Yu Ra Choi (KOR) 11-5, 11-5, 11-1 (26m)
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (26m)
Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 (18m)

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