HKFC PSA & WSA International 25 Tournament

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The HKFC PSA International 25 World is one of the most popular professional squash events on the tour. Combining the world’s top male and female players with the cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong, provides an excellent backdrop for local members and guests to have the opportunity to watch some of the best professional squash players in our own back-yards.  This year’s event carried a total prize money of 25,000USD – with many of the biggest names in the world in town to try and capture the titles.

The Men’s entry list was headed by World Number 13, Botswana’s Ali Walker, a regular visitor to the city and a popular friend of the HKFC. But his week would be a tough one – with England’s Adrian Grant seeded to clash with Walker in the final. Add in to the mix the top Asians – Hong Kong’s Max Lee and Malaysia’s Ong Beng Hee – and you could only salivate at the prospect of seeing these big guns going head-to-head on court.

This year, the Men’s event was supplemented with a Ladies event, meaning the best of both worlds for all spectators. The Ladies event, under the auspices of the WSA, was headed by top seeds Jenny Duncalf (England) and Amanda Sobhy from the United States.

As the week progressed, the seeds tumbled. In the Men’s event, Ali Walker surprisingly lost in a marathon tussle with Hong Kong’s Leo Au in the quarter finals. Adrian Grant fell in the semi-finals to Hong Kong’s number one, Max Lee, who progressed to the final to play Ong Beng Hee.

The Ladies event also saw its fair share of surprises with Jenny Duncalf exiting the draw at an early stage. The Women’s final became a battle for supremacy between Australia’s Rachel Grinham and Amanda Sobhy, the 20-year old American number one.

In a surprisingly one-sided Ladies final, Sobhy triumphed with an 11-6, 11-2,11-9 to capture the HKFC/Meco Women Squash Association International 25 (WSA 25) title. It took Sobhy just 28 minutes to achieve victory over Grinham a former World Champion and ex-World No.1 with 33 titles to her name. This title is Sohby’s seventh in the last 12 months which includes the Buler Challenge Cup, which she won in Hong Kong last July – she obviously likes the city. And with age on her side, perhaps she can now wrest the world number one title in the years ahead.

The Men’s final, meanwhile, paired Max Lee, who also won the Buler Challenge Cup in 2013, with Ong Beng Hee, who had been seen as the best Asian male on the circuit for many years. The two men battled ferociously in a quite brilliant and exhilarating final before Max’s fitness finally told – and he won a gruelling five-setter to beat the tricky Ong Beng Hee 11-3, 10-12, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6 to take the men’s section trophy.

All in all, an excellent week’s entertainment and two delightful finals watched by a packed crowd inside the HKFC Squash Centre.

COACHING

Phil Head and his team are available for lessons, both private and group, for all ages.  For more information please contact Phil on philhead@netvigator.com or on 9166 4931.

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