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Squash: Macau Open Quarter Finals – Au Escapes, Lobban Shocks Ghosal

Photo: Annie Au (fore) came back from the brink to beat Samantha Cornett (PSA World Tour)

The two big storylines from the quarter finals of the Macau Open came from women’s No.1 seed Annie Au, and men’s No.6 seed Greg Lobban.

Hong Kong’s Au had to save four match balls before coming from behind to beat Canada’s Samantha Cornett. The No.7 seed played at a high pace in the opening two games and troubled Au tremendously. But the pace was lessened in the third and that’s when Au was able to be comfortable and deadly.

The Canadian then took the fourth to match ball at 10-6. However, Au’s sheer determination, which was very evident, that rattled Cornett. With everything to play for in the fifth, both players gave their all and Au was never too far ahead, but she eventually won the match and a place on the glass court in Tap Seac Square.

“That was very exciting. At 6-10 down in the fourth, I was thinking, let’s give it a gamble and one big push. I told myself to let loose and play a little more relaxed, then maybe I can catch up a little and eventually I did, and I’m very happy about it,” Au said after the match.

She will face Joshna Chinappa, after the Indian coolly dispatched Egyptian Mayar Hany. The World No.15 won a crucial first game 11-8, before comfortably taking the second game.

Photo: Joshna Chinappa (Right) overcame Mayar Hany to book her place in the last four (PSA World Tour)

Chinappa then had to come from behind in the third game, after Hany raced out to a 7-3 lead, but the Indian fought back to win it, and the match, to book her place in the last four of the tournament.

“I was surprisingly a lot calmer than I thought I’d be and I think that worked for me today. I just felt my length was good but there were some patches I lost a little bit of focus. Mayar is super strong. She’s had great results on the tour, so I’m happy to win in three,” the Indian said.

In the bottom half of the draw, Zeina Mickey pulled off an upset when she took out Hong Kong’s Joey Chan. The hard-hitting Mickawy took full advantage of Chan’s slow start in the first two games and twice built considerable leads and never looked back.

Chan managed to pull a game back in the third, but was unable to stop Mickawy in the fourth. The win meant a spot in a 50k semis, which is her best result on tour to date, bettering her previous best of a 25k final.

Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern continued her fine run here in Macau with another Egyptian scalp. This time, Nadine Shahin fell victim to the resurgence of the former world number 5. She will face another Egyptian in Mickawy in the semis.

Photo: Greg Lobban (Right) shocked World No.10 Saurav Ghosal in Macau (PSA World Tour)

The big shock came in the men’s event as Greg Lobban overcame World No.10 Saurav Ghosal in four games, after the pair had battled it out for over an hour.

Although Ghosal took the first game with relative ease, the Scotsman bounced back to win the next three and set up a clash with Omar Mosaad in the semis.

“I’m extremely happy with the way I played. I’ve played Saurav a couple of times now, maybe 3-4 times this season already and I’ve always been closed but have never crossed the line. So even when I won the third to go 2-1 up, I knew I still had to be on my toes,” Lobban explained.

“One of the goals I set out with my coaches this year was to beat a top ten player, so I’m happy to tick this one off!”

He will face Omar Mosaad, who produced a masterclass display to halt the run of Malaysian youngster Eain Yow Ng in the opening match of the day.

In the top half of the draw, No.1 seed Diego Elias got his first real test against Max Lee. The Peruvian was in control for most of the rallies, but Lee’s retrievals gave the crowd some entertainment.

Photo: Diego Elias (Left) beat Max Lee in four to reach the semis (PSA World Tour)

Everything was level after the first two games, but Lee was unable to stop the Peruvian Puma in the end, who ended the match with an unexpected reverse angle that completely flat-footed Lee.

“I think I played a really good match. Max is a really tough opponent – I’ve played him quite a few times so I know how hard he can be. I’m happy to be able to win in four,” Elias said.

In the final men’s match, defending champion Tze Fung Yip came through an all-Hong Kong battle against compatriot Leo Au.

It was a match of few mistakes, with Yip, now Hong Kong’s highest ranked player in the world, getting the better of Au in four games.

The semi finals will take place on Saturday on a glass court, erected on Macau Island, at Tap Seac Square.

Results – Men’s Quarter Finals

[1] Diego Elias (PER) bt [5] Max Lee (HKG) 3-1: 11-9, 9-11, 11-2, 11-8 (54m)
[4] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt [7] Leo Au (HKG) 3-1: 11-9, 11-1, 5-11, 11-6 (61m)
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 (32m)
[6] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [2] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-1: 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (65m)

Results – Women’s Quarter Finals

[1] Annie Au (HKG) bt [7] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 3-2: 9-11, 4-11, 11-4, 13-11, 11-7 (49m)
[3] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt [5] Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-9 (27m)
[6] Zeina Mickawy (EGY) bt [4] Joey Chan (HKG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 (39m)
Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [8] Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10 (42m)

Draw – Men’s Semi Finals

[1] Diego Elias (PER) v [4] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [6] Greg Lobban (SCO)

Draw – Women’s Semi Finals

[1] Annie Au (HKG) v [3] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
[6] Zeina Mickey (EGY) v Low Wee Wern (MAS)

Source: PSA World Tour

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