Mixed Fortunes For Indians In Hong Kong
17 Oct 2006
Dramatic fight-backs in today's qualifying finals for places in the main draw of the Cathay Pacific Swiss Privilege Hong Kong Open provided mixed fortunes for India's top two PSA Tour players at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.
Indian national champion Saurav Ghosal, the world No 54 from Chennai, took a two-game lead against Daryl Selby and had two match balls in the third game. But the Englishman, ranked four places higher, kept his focus and clinched the game 5-3 on the tie-break, then maintained the upper hand throughout the remainder of the match to record a stunning 10-11 (1-3), 8-11, 11-10 (5-3), 11-6, 11-5 victory in 70 minutes.
Ritwik Bhattacharya faced defeat when Australia's Aaron Frankcomb forged a 2/0 lead. But the 27-year-old from New Delhi came back to win 9-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4. While Selby goes through to meet France's sixth seed Gregory Gaultier, Bhattacharya takes on Egyptian Karim Darwish, the No9 seed.
Pakistan celebrated double success in the qualifiers with both Mansoor Zaman and Aamir Atlas Khan earning places in the main draw of the men's $120,000 Super Series Platinum event. Khan, 16, from Peshawar, ended Omar Elborolossy's comeback run - beating the retired Egyptian, who is almost twice his age, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9 in 39 minutes.
Australian hierarchy was shaken up in the women's qualifying event when Peta Hughes, from Queensland, beat compatriot Amelia Pittock 9-7, 6-9, 9-3, 9-6. After her first ever win over the Victorian, who is ranked 36 places higher in the world, Hughes now meets Egypt's Omneya Abdel Kawy, the ninth seed,
English interest in the $87,500 WISPA Platinum championship was boosted by a further two players when Suzie Pierrepont and Rebecca Botwright came through the qualifying finals. Botwright beat Australia's Rachel Smith 9-5, 9-0, 9-6, while Pierrepont was the cause of one of the three women's Hong Kong casualties on the day, defeating Annie Au 9-1, 9-6, 9-4.
Men's qualifying finals:
Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) bt Omar Elborolossy (EGY) 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9
Alister Walker (ENG) bt Paul Davis (AUS) 11-1, 11-3, 11-2
Renan Lavigne (FRA) bt Kashif Shuja (NZL) 11-10 (3-1), 11-8, 11-10 (3-1)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 10-11 (1-3), 8-11, 11-10 (5-3), 11-6, 11-5
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Dylan Bennett (NED) 11-10 (4-2), 11-8, 11-7
Liam Kenny (IRL) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 11-6, 9-11, 11-3, 11-8
Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND) bt Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) 9-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4
Mansoor Zaman (PAK) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 11-6, 11-9, 11-7
Women's qualifying finals:
Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt Elise Ng (HKG) 9-7, 9-3, 9-1
Runa Reta (CAN) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 6-9, 9-5, 9-3, 9-5
Louise Crome (NZL) bt Sarah Kippax (ENG) 9-3, 9-2, 9-6
Peta Hughes (AUS) bt Amelia Pittock (AUS) 9-7, 6-9, 9-3, 9-6
Suzie Pierrepont (ENG) bt Annie Au (HKG) 9-1, 9-6, 9-4
Rebecca Botwright (ENG) bt Rachel Smith (AUS) 9-5, 9-0, 9-6