Matthew overcomes his early difficulties

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NICK Matthew was given a tough workout before progressing to the second round of the Hong Kong Open.

Germany’s Simon Rosner, ranked 16th in the world, had game balls in the first two games but couldn’t convert, allowing second seed and world No 2 Matthew, from Sheffield, to go through 12-10, 12-10, 11-6 after a gruelling 45 minutes.

The 32-year-old will now face South Africa’s Stephen Coppinger, who caused a minor upset when defeating Egypt’s world No 11 Omar Mosaad 8-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-9 in their first-round encounter.

Top seed James Willstrop, from Leeds, will continue the defence of his crown against Malaysia’s Ong Beng Hee, while Pontefract-based Indian No 1 Saurav Ghosal perhaps has the toughest task with a second-round clash against former world No 1 Ramy Ashour.

In the second round of the women’s draw, Harrogate’s Jenny Duncalf takes on Dipika Pallikal, another player from India who has benefitted in recent years from the tutelage of Pontefract coach Malcolm Willstrop.