Japanese number one wins seventh WSA Tour title in Tokyo
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
Brushing aside all opposition in the country’s biggest international squash event, local star Misaki Kobayashi claimed her third successive Women’s Pro Squash in Japan title after beating South African Siyoli Waters in today’s final of the Tokyo championship at Spa Shirokane in the Japan capital.
The highest-ranked Japanese player of all-time, 24-year-old Kobayashi (pictured above in action with Waters) reached the final of the WSA Tour 10 event – her ninth on the Tour – without dropping a game.
The top seed despatched Hong Kong’s sixth seed Vanessa Chu in the semi-finals, while Waters also saw off Hong Kong opposition in the other semi after beating third seed Liu Tsz-Ling in four games.
kobflagThe Tokyo-born world No36 raced away in the final to take the opening game for the loss of just a single point – but second seed Waters, who overtook Kobayashi to claim a world No33 ranking in the latest WSA list, regrouped in the second to draw level.
But spurred on by local support, Kobayashi survived the next two games to secure an 11-1, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 title triumph after just 38 minutes to win her third WSA title on home soil since September 2010.
“I’m really happy to win this title again in my country,” said the delighted Kobayashi (pictured right with promoter Miyuki Adachi).
“I don’t play many local tournaments so my family don’t really get to watch my matches – so today I just wanted to play well and I’m glad that I came through.”
The win also marks the seventh WSA Tour title of Kobayashi’s career.
Women’s Pro Squash in Japan (Tokyo).
 Lee Ka Yi (HKG) bt Mayu Yamazaki (JPN) 11-4, 11-9, 11-6 (19m)
 Vanessa Chu (HKG) bt Chinatsu Matsui (JPN) 5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9 (39m)
 Satomi Watanabe (JPN) bt Risa Sugimoto (JPN) w/o
 Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt  Lee Ka Yi (HKG) 11-2, 11-5, 11-3 (19m)
 Vanessa Chu (HKG) bt  Sina Wall (GER) 11-9, 12-10, 11-5 (26m)
 Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) bt  Belen Etchechoury (ARG) 11-2, 11-8, 11-1 (18m)
 Siyoli Waters (RSA) bt  Satomi Watanabe (JPN) 12-14, 14-12, 11-9, 11-6 (37m)
 Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt  Vanessa Chu (HKG) 11-6, 11-7, 11-3 (23m)
 Siyoli Waters (RSA) bt  Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 11-5, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9 (31m)
 Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt  Siyoli Waters (RSA) 11-1, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 (38m)
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Pictures courtesy of WSA