New PSA Scoring System Brings Drama To Hong Kong Open
30 Aug 2004
Hisham Mohd Ashour of Egypt tonight left the spectators of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open qualifying rounds buzzing with excitement over the new 11 point PAR scoring adopted from this tournament for the PSA World Tour as he fought back from two games down against Australia's Cameron Pilley to win the last qualifying final 11-10 (2-0) 4-11 8-11 11-6 11-10 (4-2) in 62 minutes at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.
If the reduction from 15 point games to 11 points can conjure an atmosphere as pulsating as this qualifying final throughout the main tournament that launches tomorrow, both the players and the fans will be splendidly rewarded.
Ashour's immediate reward, however, was a touch parochial. The 22-year-old from Cairo, whose younger brother Ramy last week became the world junior champion, was promptly drawn against his senior compatriot Omar Elborolossy, the 14th seed, in the first round.
Another young Egyptian Wael El Hindi came through the qualifiers with Ashour, beating Gavin Jones of Wales in just 25 minutes, to meet the fourth-seeded former Hong Kong champion David Palmer, of Australia.
Also in the main draw for Egypt are Mohammed Abbas, the 15th seed who drew England's Peter Barker from the winning qualifiers - and the seventh-seeded World Champion Amr Shabana who drew English qualifier Simon Parke. It was Parke who fought through to the final of the English Open from the qualifiers earlier in August and looks upon the introduction of the short scoring format as an opportunity to extended his lengthy career at the top of the game. Shabana might have wished for a simpler return to competitive play after a long summer lay-off.
Peter Barker defeated Alister Walker in a 71-minute qualifying final, while in another all-English clash Parke needed only 46 minutes to beat Joey Barrington in straight games, but had to survive 4-2 in a first game tiebreak and 2-0 in a third game tiebreak against the emerging son of the legendary Jonah Barrington. Barker's older brother Phillip also reached the first round proper with a 47-minute win over Pakistan's Arshad Iqbal Burki that takes him to the sixth-seeded former Hong Kong champion Jonathon Power, of Canada.
Bradley Ball, the Englishman who ended the qualifying hopes of the top seeded Olli Tuominen on Sunday, defeated Australia's Raj Nanda in a 34-minute straight games final today and now faces tenth-seeded Gregory Gaultier of France.
England's world No1 Peter Nicol is seeded to win the PSA Super Series title for the fourth time since 1999. The defending champion opens tomorrow's first round session against Hong Kong's National champion Wong Wai Hang. Nicol's compatriot Lee Beachill is the second seed and meets fellow Englishman Mark Chaloner on Wednesday.
Updated 1st round:
 Peter Nicol (ENG) v Wai Hang Wong (HKG)
 Adrian Grant (ENG) v [Q] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) v Dan Jenson (AUS)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [Q] Bradley Ball (ENG)
 David Palmer (AUS) v [Q] Wael El Hindi (EGY)
 Omar Elborolossy (EGY) v [Q] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY)
 Jonathon Power (CAN) v [Q] Phillip Barker (ENG)
 Joseph Kneipp (AUS) v Graham Ryding (CAN)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v Renan Lavigne (FRA)
 Amr Shabana (EGY) v [Q] Simon Parke (ENG)
 Anthony Ricketts (AUS) v Paul Price (AUS)
 Thierry Lincou (FRA) v [Q] Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
 Mohammed Abbas (EGY) v Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
 John White (SCO) v [Q] Peter Barker (ENG)
 Karim Darwish (EGY) v Mansoor Zaman (PAK)
 Lee Beachill (ENG) v Mark Chaloner (ENG)
Bradley Ball (ENG) bt Raj Nanda (AUS) 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (34m)
Peter Barker (ENG) bt Alister Walker (ENG) 9-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-5, 11-8 (71m)
Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 (27m)
Phillip Barker (ENG) bt Arshad Iqbal Burki (PAK) 11-4, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4 (47m)
Simon Parke (ENG) bt Joey Barrington (ENG) 11-10 (4-2), 11-2, 11-10 (2-0) (46m)
Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt Gavin Jones (WAL) 11-8, 11-3, 11-1 (25m)
Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-10 (2-0), 4-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-10 (4-2) (62m)
Jonathan Kemp (ENG) bt Davide Bianchetti (ITA) 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (27m)