Nick Matthew and James Willstrop enjoy success in Hong Kong openers
Sheffield’s Nick Matthew eased through to the second round of the Hong Kong Open with an emphatic win over Egypt’s Marwen Elshorbagy.
The 35-year-old Yorkshireman – who reached the last eight of the World Championships last month – is the second seed at the Hong Kong Squash Centre and took just 38 minutes to beat the world No 11 11-4, 11-4, 11-9.
Matthew, who won the event two years ago, will now face another Egyptian opponent in the shape of qualifier Zahed Mohamed, who beat his compatriot Mazen Hesham 1 1-9, 11-3, 10-12, 11-8.
“I played really well for two games,” said Matthew afterwards.
“If he’d managed to take the third it would have been difficult, so I’m happy to get off in three.”
James Willstrop, buoyed by his run to the semi-finals at the worlds, also made it through to the next phase, coming from behind to beat Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly 13-15, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 after a gruelling hour on court.
Willstrop, from Harrogate, will now face a tough test to reach the last eight when he comes up against newly-insalled world No1 Gregory Gaultier.
The Frenchman, no doubt on a high after clinching his first world title in Bellevue, USA, was made to work hard by local hero Leo Au before prevailing 11-3, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7.
Harrogate’s Jenny Duncalf - seeded 12th for the event – resumes her challenge on Thursday when she faces eighth seed Amanda Sobhy, from the USA.
Duncalf – a recent winner of the Monte Carlo Classic – didn’t have it all her own way in the first round encounter on Monday with Denmark’s Line Hansen, taking 40 minutes to see off her opponent in a 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-1 triumph.
Sobhy had a slightly easier time of it when defeating Australia’s Donna Urquhart 11-8, 11-8, 11-5