Top seeds & defending Champions beaten in five game semi-final drama

Hania El Hammamy came from two one down to defeat Nouran Gohar and reach the final of the Hong Kong Open. The Egyptian duo, who have built up an intense on-court rivalry over recent years, played out an epic 84-minute battle in the opening match of the semi-finals. El Hammamy became the first player to deny Gohar a final appearance in 2022 after winning the semi-final by 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-2. 

Diego Elias, who reached the last 16 stage when the tournament was last staged four years ago, sealed his place in the Hong Kong Open final for the first time as he battled back from a seesaw match against Mohamed ElShorbagy, who is aiming to defend his HK title again, by 7-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-5, 11-7 in 67 minutes.

2017 Hong Kong Open champion Nour El Sherbini bounced back from a game down to book her place in this year’s final after overcoming Joelle King, the reigning champion after lifting the title in 2018 when it was last held, in four games. King went into an 8-0 lead in the first, and although Sherbini staged a fightback, King took the opener 11-8.  Sherbini clicked into gear as she roared back in the second game, claiming an emphatic 11-3 in nine minutes, and was well into her groove in the third, going 10-8 up and a stroke decision going in her favour giving her a 2-1 lead.

Mostafa Asal will meet Diego Elias in the Hong Kong Open final after edging past Paul Coll 3-2. Coll, who was the top seed, fended off a resurgence from Asal in the first game to take a the lead 11-7, but Asal struck back to level 11-5.

The Egyptian carried that momentum into the third and despite Coll saving two game balls, Asal converted at the third attempt to go up 2-1. Coll fought back to level up with 2-all. Asal took the early lead in the decider and led 6-4, then he scored five unanswered points – his last shot an astonishing pickup which Coll couldn’t control leading to a stroke decision to Asal, appealed and confirmed to book his place in the final.