Annie and Yip keep home hopes alive
There was a strange look to this evening’s quarter-final lineup at Hong Kong Football Club, with many of the top seeds missing after a dramatic series of late upsets in round two, but there were no seeding upsets today as the semifinalists were decided.
“Rachel beat me 3-0 in the first round here last year,” said Nada, “so I was keen to get my revenge and started out fast. When it came to the fifth I just told myself no pressure, play my own game and I got to 8-0. Really pleased to get my revenge and reach the semis.”
Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern is back in the tournament after her long injury troubles, and the Malaysian despatched Liu Tsz Ling in straight games.
“It feels great to be playing tournaments again,” she said, “it feels like I’ve had a second chance and I’m determined to make the most of it. A lot of things have changed, like the 17″ tin, and it feels strange not having a mentor with me after Nicol’s retirement.”
There was further home disappointment as Canada’s Danielle Letourneau overcame Vanessa Chu in five close games, saving game balls in the first proving to be crucial.
“Vanessa has some very dangerous shots,” said Danielle, “I’m happy I was able to hang in there to reach my biggest semifinal to date.”
Top seed and defending champion Annie Au ensured there was home interest in the women’s semis as she beat Donna Lobban in straight games, although the Aussie, going in to the match on a 3-10 H2H deficit, will feel unlucky not to have taken at least a game.
Home interest in the men’s draw came earlier as, in the first men’s match of the day Yip Tsz Fung held off a comeback from France’s Lucas Serme, winning in five to reach his second successive HKFC semifinal.
Yesterday’s home upset heroes Henry Leung and Tsz Kwan Lau both lost out, to Greg Lobban and Abdulla Al Tamimi.
Last on was the only match between two unseeded players, and it was Egypt’s Mohamed Elsherbini who prevailed over Dimitri Steinmann, who had sensationally beaten top seed and defending champion Max Lee last night. The scoreline was three-nil but the Swiss will feel unlucky not to have taken a game, at least.
“I think I played well there,” said Mohamed, “I managed to contain him most of the time and played well in the crucial points, my game was on tonight. I’ve only been playing professionally for two years, I’m not playing under any pressure and really enjoying it and I’m so happy to reach these semifinals.”
Those semifinals start at 16.30 on Friday, all on court 7.