Welsh No.1 Joel Makin and England No.1 Gina Kennedy are set to headline the Hong Kong Football Club Open 2023 as the Bronze event returns to the PSA World Tour calendar for the second year. The event will run from 21st to 25th November with action available to watch live on SQUASHTV.
Women’s top seed Kennedy has enjoyed a strong start to the season and, having put last season’s health issues behind her, has firmly established herself as one of the world’s top players on the women’s tour. She has reached the quarter-finals in two of the three events she has played so far this season and also reached the semi-finals in the season-opening Paris Squash event. She will be looking to capture her 12th PSA title in Hong Kong.
Kennedy’s compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry is the second seed and will be looking to kickstart her season after failing to advance past the third round in all three of her events this season. Perry has undoubted skill at the front of the court and will be hoping to utilise this in her first match against either Germany’s Saskia Beinhard or compatriot and training partner Katie Malliff in round two.
Egypt’s teenage superstar Amina Orfi is the fourth seed for the Bronze level event and will be coming into the tournament full of confidence after reaching her first Platinum quarter-final at the U.S Open, losing out to Amanda Sobhy. Orfi is now ranked inside the top 20 and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down as she marches towards the world’s top 10. Orfi is in the same half of the draw as top seed Kennedy, meaning a potential semi-final clash between the two, while Amanda’s younger sister Sabrina Sobhy is seeded three.
In the men’s event, Welshman Makin tops the draw as he looks to claim a first title of the season after quarter-final and semi-final finishes at the Paris Squash and Qatar Classic opened his 2023-24 campaign. The Welshman has captured five titles throughout his career, with his most recent coming at the Canadian Men’s Open in February of this year.
Egyptian duo Mohamed El Sherbini and Aly Abou Eleinen are flying high on the PSA World Tour at the moment with both players sitting beside each other in the latest PSA World Rankings at #16 and #17, and they are the second and third seeds.
Europeans dominate the 5/8 seeding positions with Iker Pajares, Auguste Dussourd, Gregoire Marche and Nathan Lake occupying those places. All are seeded to reach the quarter-finals but will be hoping that they can claim scalps against the top four seeds if the matches go to seeding.
There is plenty of home interest in both draws, with seven Hong Kong players featuring across the draws as well as a pre-qualifier in the women’s event – which will be decided via an eight-player tournament prior to the event. World #28 Tomato Ho is the highest ranked home player in the women’s draw, whilst Alex Lau leads the home players in the men’s draw.