Australia’s Donna Urquhart won her seventh WSA title yesterday at the Tour 15 Crocodile Challenge Cup in Hong Kong.
Urquhart, the top seed and world number 17, seemed to show no obvious signs of the ankle injury that forced her to retire from her quarter final match at the Australian Open last month.
She opened the tournament with a straight game win over Hong Kong’s Tong Tsz-Wing and followed this up in the quarter finals with a further straight game win over the sixth seed Olga Ertlova of the Czech Republic. The semi finals saw Urquhart face Hong Kong fourth seed Liu Tsz-Ling. Tsz-Ling went toe to toe with Urquhart for the first two games and the match was level at one game all. Tsz-Ling, who’s ranking has risen dramatically in 2012 to a current high of no.44, continued to push the Aussie in the third and fourth games but Urquhart managed to use her experience to pull clear towards the end of each game and move into the final.
Urquhart’s expected final opponent was local star and world number 18 Joey Chan. Chan had ended Urquhart’s run in the event in 2011 and looked to be on course again this year with a comfortable first round win against local qualifier Ho Tze Lok. Chan’s tournament however ended in the quarter finals at the hands of Scottish number one Lisa Aitken. Aitken, the seventh seed, stormed through the first game 11/4 and crucially recovered from 9-3 down in the second to take it on the tie break. Aitken closed out the match in the fourth, recording the biggest win of her career.
In the semi final Aitken faced Danish number one Line Hansen. Hansen reached the semi finals with two comfortable wins against Hong Kong players Carmen Lee and the dangerous qualifier Lee Ka Yi. Hansen and Aitken played as recently as July at the Tournament of Pyramids in Paris where Hansen won in straight games. It was the same storyline again as Hansen started in ruthless fashion taking the first game 11-0. Aitken raised her level after this and pushed the Dane in the second and third games but didn’t have enough to turn things around.
Urquhart owned a 2-0 head to head record against Hansen going into the final, with both matches incidentally being played in Hong Kong. Hansen had just won two titles back to back at the start of August, showing she was coming into this event in good form. However, the head to head record proved to be crucial and Urquhart got a grip on the match from the outset and never allowed Hansen to step forward and attack, closing it out in three games.
It was Urquhart’s second title in Hong Kong and seventh overall. Hansen was appearing in her 18th WSA final.
Both finalists along with many of the other players will now head to Malaysia for the CIMB Malaysian Open which begins next week.
 Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt  Line Hansen (DEN) 11-6 11-8 11-6
 Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt  Liu Tsz-ling (HKG) 12-10 9-11 11-7 11-5
 Line Hansen (DEN) bt  Lisa Aitken (SCO) 11-0 11-8 11-8
 Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt  Olga Ertlova (CZE) 11-4 11-9 11-9
 Liu Tsz-Ling bt  Kylie Lindsay (NZL) 11-5 11-7 8-11 7-11 11-6
 Line Hansen (DEN) bt [Q] Lee Ka Yi (HKG) 11-7 11-1 11-8
 Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt  Joey Chan (HKG) 11-4 14-12 9-11 11-8
 Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) 11-3 12-10 11-8
 Olga Ertlova (CZE) bt Chu Ka Kei (HKG) 9-11 11-4 11-3 11-6
 Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) bt Song Sun-Mi (KOR) 11-8 11-6 11-2
 Kylie Lindsay (NZL) bt [Q] Ho Ka Po (HKG) 11-8 11-5 11-4
[Q] Lee Ka Yi (HKG) bt  Sarah Cardwell (AUS) 8-11 10-12 11-3 11-7 11-5
 Line Hansen (DEN) bt Carmen Lee (HKG) 11-5 11-7 11-4
 Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt Karman Siu (HKG) 11-1 11-5 11-4
[2 Joey Chan (HKG) bt [Q] Ho Tze Lok (HKG) 11-3 11-4 11-2