Maiden PSA title for Tang in Singapore
By Alex Wan – Squash Mad Asian Bureau Editor
SINGAPORE – Hong Kong’s Tang Ming Hong picked up his maiden PSA title today after seeing off experienced Malaysian Elvinn Keo in an exciting five-game thriller. The 23-year old who is currently at his career-high ranking of 141 previously reached the final of the $5k Contrex Challenge Cup in Hong Kong but lost out to compatriot Wong Chi Him, so today’s victory was a sweet one to make up for that loss. He did not hide his emotions as he dropped his racket and sank onto his knees after the end of the last point.
Ming Hong did not start off well as he was demolished by Elvinn in the first game, where he never once led. His error rate was high and they easily contributed to five points in the game. From 5-3 down, he lost six points in a row to hand Elvinn the lead.
He was more composed in the second and had gotten a lot more used to Elvinn’s game. He played much more patiently and was leading 5-2, before losing a streak of five points once again to lose the lead 7-5, but manages to recompose and take the game 11-9.
The third was lop sided to Ming Hong as Elvinn simply could not find a way to end the rallies. 11-3 to Ming Hong who now leads 2-1. The fourth was totally the opposite as it was now Elvinn who dominated, winning most points in three streaks, coming from 0-2 to 3-2, then 3-3 to 7-3, and then 7-4 to 10-4. But then he got excited and tried to finish off the game too quick and resulted in losing four points in a row. He manages to recompose and eventually closes out 11-8.
With 2-a piece, there was everything to play for in the fifth. But it was evident Elvinn was struggling physically at this point and he fizzled out and lost 11-4 to hand Ming Hong his maiden title.
A very happy Tang Ming Hong said afterwards, ”I’m so happy and satisfied with this result. Just a week ago I was carrying a slight injury to my leg, but I persevered and kept on training. So to have this result gives me a lot of satisfaction that after seven years of being on the tour, winning this feels like all the work done has finally paid off.”
Roger Ngan, the Hong Kong coach travelling with the team said, “The final game was especially good. He wasn’t so stable in the beginning but he got better as it progressed. Elvinn (Keo) was pushing him hard and I just asked him to be more patient.”
Tang Ming Hong (HKG) bt Elvinn Keo (MAS) 11.3, 9-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-4 (49m)
Pictures by Singapore Squash Rackets Association