10:59 am
17 Jun 2024

Asal & El Hammamy Snare Hong Kong Open Silverware

4 Dec 2022

Egyptian duo Mostafa Asal and Hania El Hammamy are the 2022 Everbright Securities International Hong Kong Open champions after overcoming men's world No.5 Diego Elias and women's World Champion Nour El Sherbini on a dramatic finals day of the PSA World Tour Platinum event at the Hong Kong Park Sports Centre.

Asal, the world No.4, overturned a championship ball and came back from two games down to complete a remarkable comeback against Peru's Elias, winning 6-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4 after 95 nail-biting minutes.

There was a controversial moment in the fourth game when, with Asal 10-9 up, Elias returned an attempted crosscourt nick from his opponent, but his shot was deemed not to have reached the front wall. An indignant Elias was adamant that the ball had made it and, once the game had been awarded to Asal and both players had gone off court, later TV replays showed that he was correct.

With the scores poised at two-all and Elias reeling from that flashpoint, Asal ran away with things in the fifth game to capture his 10th PSA title and maintain his 100 per cent win record in Platinum finals having triumphed in three out of three.

"I'm so proud of myself," said the 21-year-old.

"It's been a tough week for me... People don't know what happens outside of the court, I'm dealing with lots of things to play this awesome squash.

"I'm so happy to come to Hong Kong. My first time in 2018, I lost in 20 mins against Tom Richards in the first round, so I'm really happy to win it this time."

World No.3 El Hammamy ensured that she would walk away with four of the seven women's Platinum trophies on offer throughout 2022 following an epic 15-13, 9-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-9 victory over world No.2 El Sherbini in 89 minutes.

El Hammamy - who toppled world No.1 Nouran Gohar in a captivating semi-final battle - has now captured 11 PSA World Tour titles, while her Hong Kong Open title is her second of the 2022-23 season.

"I'm over the moon with that win," said El Hammamy.

"Last night and today was definitely tough on me. This morning I was a little bit tired from last night's match, but I tried to prepare myself mentally as much as I could to dig in and keep pushing hard. It really paid off with the way I fought.

"It's an amazing feeling to capture the title before the end of the year. At the US Open I was a bit disappointed, I wanted to pick up the title and keep my momentum going, but it didn't go my way. I'm glad I bounced back and I was able to get back to the way I wanted to perform here in Hong Kong."