Japanese squash stars defeat HK rivals

Japanese squash stars defeat HK rivals

Tsukue Ryunosuke and Satomi Watanabe thrash HK rivals to make it two-in-a-row in U19 squash singles


Tsukue Ryunosuke (front) battles Hong Kong's Ng Ka-yiu in the final.
Photo: Hong Kong Squash

Japanese stars Tsukue Ryunosuke and Satomi Watanabe dominated the under-19 singles events at the Head Hong Kong Junior Squash Open 2016, beating local rivals in the final on Sunday.

Tsukue won the boys’ under-19 title for the second year in a row, beating Hong Kong’s Ng Ka-yiu 3-1 in the final at the Hong Kong Squash Centre .

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Ng, 18, won the first set 11-9, with the help of some powerful shots. But Tsukue, also 18, changed his strategy and rhythm by making some long and fast volleys. Ng was too tired to fight back, and lost the last three sets, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4.

Tsukue said the match wasn’t as easy as it looked, and that he did a lot of work in preparation for the final. “We met in the final last year so I knew his tactics pretty well,” Tsukue said. “I increased the rhythm in the final – my aim was to tire him out.”

Ng said he had learned a lesson, and now knows it is crucial to control unexpected situations.

Satomi Watanabe (left) and Tsukue Ryunosuke are once again the under-19 squash champions.
Photo: Ben Pang/SCMP

“It’s always tough against Tsukue because he is more physical and technically better,” Ng said. “When I hit some powerful shots, he was still able to get back on the offensive and win a rally. Now I need to focus more on developing my mental and physical strength.”

Satomi, 17, also retained the girls’ under-19 title after scoring a convincing 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-3) victory over local player
Ho Ka-wing in the final.

“I think I won the match because I played really fast and my opponent couldn’t keep up,” said Satomi.

The Hong Kong finalists don’t have time to be sad about their losses: they’re busy training for the 2016 WSF World Junior Squash Championships, to be held in Poland from August 7-11.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Japanese stars reign


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