Clyne Clambers Into Hong Kong Qualifying Finals
23 Aug 2010
Scotland's Alan Clyne survived the longest battle in today's first qualifying round of the $147,500 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open to earn a place in the qualifying finals of the long-established PSA World Tour squash event - the fifth PSA Super Series championship of the year - in Hong Kong.
The 24-year-old from Edinburgh took a two-game lead against Matthew Karwalski - but the lower-ranked Australian, also 24, recovered the deficit to draw level. It was nip and tuck throughout the decider but Clyne ultimately clinched his 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 13-11 victory after 72 minutes.
"I was hoping to win it 3/0 - I was 8/6 up in the third, but then I was 8/3 down in the fifth," Clyne explained to www.squashsite.co.uk later. "It was a bit of a yoyo match, all the games were close, it was a question of trying to knuckle down at the important moments.
"He stepped up the pace in the third and fourth, putting me under more pressure, and in the fifth I was having to go to last resort tactics, just picking everything up!"
The world No57, bidding to make his first appearance in a Super Series event since competing in the first of the year at the Tournament of Champions in New York, will now face Farhan Mehboob, the Pakistan number two.
Mehboob, a left-hander from Peshawar who is ranked 30 in the world, took four games to overcome local hope Hon Fung Wong 11-2, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6.
Egypt's Omar Abdel Aziz, the second highest-ranked player in the qualifying competition, was also taken the full distance before reserving his place in the final round. The 26-year-old world No30 from Cairo withstood a fightback by USA's Christopher Gordon before beating the 24-year-old from New York 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-3.
Aziz now faces experienced compatriot Mohammed Abbas for a place in the main draw. Abbas, a former world No13 bidding to make only his second appearance in a 2010 Super Series event, took just 19 minutes to down Hong Kong 17-year-old Cheuk Yan Tang 11-4, 11-4, 11-6.
Qualifying finals line-up:
Tom Richards (ENG) v Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS)
Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) v Max Lee (HKG)
Julian Illingworth (USA) v Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v Amr Swelim (ITA)
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Siddharth Suchde (IND)
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) v Mohammed Abbas (EGY)
1st qualifying round:
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Fung Ngo Long (HKG) 11-6, 11-0, 11-6 (21m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) bt Choy Kit Lun (HKG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (19m)
Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) bt Anson Kwong (HKG) 11-5, 12-10, 11-4 (37m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt Lo Cheuk-Hin (HKG) 11-7, 11-6, 11-0 (17m)
Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Leo Au (HKG) 11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6 (39m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 11-4, 11-4, 12-10 (36m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Yip Tsz Fung (HKG) 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (22m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Ho Tze Ho (HKG) 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 (21m)
Amr Swelim (ITA) bt Kamran Khan (MAS) 13-11, 11-7, 11-9 (60m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) 11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6 (48m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Matthew Karwalski (AUS) 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 13-11 (72m)
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt Hon Fung Wong (HKG) 11-2, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6 (25m)
Siddharth Suchde (IND) bt Gilly Lane (USA) 6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 (66m)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Yeung Ho Wai (HKG) 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (28m)
Mohammed Abbas (EGY) bt Cheuk Yan Tang (HKG) 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (19m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-3 (52m)