Hong Kong women shrug off Au’s absence to down Pakistan in Asian Championships opener
Hong Kong’s women got off to a winning start in the Asian Championships despite the absence of injured top player Annie Au Wing-chi.
Joey Chan Ho-ling, who took over Au’s number one position, was given a scare before her nail-biting 3-2 victory over Maria Toorpakai Wazir of Pakistan in the third match.
Now ranked 22nd in the world, Chan had to save a match point to overcom her opponent in five games 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10 at Squash Centre in Admiralty. Hong Kong won their opening tie in pool B through victories by Tong Tsz-wing and Liu Tsz-ling in the first two matches, both in straight games, and Chan’s close win gave them a perfect score.
Head coach Tony Choi Yuk-kwan, however, was far from happy.
“There is definitely room for improvement,” he said. “Chan was leading all their way in the first game but allowed the opponent to come back and she was also a bit loose in the fourth game in which she should have sealed the victory.
“Chan had some ups and downs in the game which she needs to work out. But this is just the beginning and I expect her to settle as the tournament goes on.”
In pool A, favourites Malaysia cruised to a 3-0 win over South Korea. World number one Nicol David was in searing form as she charged past Song Sun-mi 11-5, 11-4, 11-1, while their second player Low Wee-wern, the world number seven, saw off Park Eun-ok 11-9, 11-7, 11-3.
Japan and China also got off to a winning start, scoring 3-0 and 2-1 wins over Sri Lanka and Iran respectively.