Hong Kong squash players 'need confidence to match world's best'
Hong Kong's top squash official David Mui says city's players must be mentally stronger if they wish to move up the world rankings
Local players must believe in themselves if they want to reach the elite ranks, a top squash official said after Max Lee Ho-yin and Joey Chan Ho-yin were narrowly beaten by top-10 players in the opening round of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open om Wednesday.
"They played great squash today against top-ranked players and were very close to pulling off upsets," said David Mui Ying-ying, chairman of Hong Kong Squash and the Asian Squash Federation. "They just need a bit more confidence they can beat the top players, and refinement of their skills to take the big points."
Against eighth seed Tarek Momen of Egypt, Lee took the first game and built up a 9-5 lead in the third, but lost 6-11, 11-8, 14-12, 11-4 in an hour. Chan, the East Asian Games champion, led the first two games 9-7 against world number five Jenny Duncalf of England but lost 11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8 in 45 minutes. "The third game was crucial as I was leading 9-5, but [he] then was very consistent and did not commit any mistake before coming back to take the game after deuce. I have a lot to learn from him," said Lee, ranked 20 places behind Momen.
Chan (pictured in action), who reached the last eight last year, admitted: "I really had chances to beat Duncalf today, but lacked the confidence when it came to the big points to finish her off. "[But] I am getting better and better in the second half of the year. I hope to return to the top 16 [in the world rankings] next year for a more favourable draw in the tour and a better seeding at the 2014 Asian Games."