Nick Matthew In Bid For Hong Kong First

Runner-up in 2004, the 31-year-old from Sheffield crashed out at the quarter-final stage last year and is eager to make amends in 2011.
 
The Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, in its 25th staging since 1985, is the seventh PSA World Series event of the year and gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday) and reaches its final at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on Sunday (20 November).
 
Matthew, who made his Hong Kong debut in 2001, opens his campaign against Martin Knight, a New Zealand qualifier who earned his maiden appearance in the main draw after beating India's Harinder Pal Sandhu 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 11-5 in 70 minutes in today's qualifying finals.
 
The withdrawal of title-holder Ramy Ashour, the world No2 from Egypt, with a hamstring injury has elevated his fellow countryman Karim Darwish to No2 seed. The 30-year-old from Cairo reached the semi-finals in 2010 - a position he has not bettered in eight appearances since 2001 - and faces Malaysian qualifier Ivan Yuen in the opening round.
 
Yuen became the only player outside the world's top 100 to qualify today when he dashed home hopes by beating Hong Kong's Leo Au 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8 in 66 minutes.
 
But pride of place in the Hong Kong Open draw goes to Amr Shabana, the distinguished Egyptian who won the title four years in a row from 2006 and made his debut in the championship in 1996 - three years ahead of any of his rivals this year!
 
Fourth seed Shabana begins his 14th successive campaign against Malaysian qualifier Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan, an 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 victor over Australian Matthew Karwalski today.
 
PSA World Series Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong
Qualifying Finals:
Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 11-2 (41m)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Leo Au (HKG) 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8 (66m)
Martin Knight (NZL) bt Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 11-5 (70m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Chris Ryder (ENG) 12-10, 11-9, 12-10 (60m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Yann Perrin (FRA) 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (25m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Dick Lau (HKG) 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (37m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Matthew Karwalski (AUS) 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 (32m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Kamran Khan (MAS) 11-7, 11-9, 11-1 (48m)
 
Updated 1st Round Draw:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [Q] Martin Knight (NZL)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK)
[5] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Julian Illingworth (USA)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) v Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Max Lee (HKG)
Olli Tuominen (FIN) v [Q] Borja Golan (ESP)
[3] James Willstrop (ENG) v Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) v [Q] Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Hisham Mohamed Ashour (EGY) v Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) v [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[7] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
[8] Thierry Lincou (FRA) v Stewart Boswell (AUS)
Tom Richards (ENG) v [Q] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [Q] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) v [Q] Ivan Yuen (MAS)
 
For all the latest Tour news: www.psaworldtour.com
 
Nick Matthew uses the Dunlop Biomimetic Evolution 130 squash racket. To buy the Dunlop Biomimetic Evolution 130 squash racket online, visit: www.isquashstore.com/Dunlop

Nick Matthew, the world number one who earlier this month claimed the PSA World Open title for the second year in a row, is favourite in this week's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open - a PSA World Series title the Englishman has yet to win.