Hong Kong’s Tsz-Wing Tong is in the form of her career. The 41st-ranked player shares her views on the game with Doug Woodburn….
Hi Wing. How would you sum up your playing style?
I love to construct the rally and dominate the middle part of the court, and I also love to add disguise into my game when I attack.
You’re at your highest world ranking and have had some good wins in 2023. What would you attribute that to?
Patience and a deeper understanding of the game. I try to add more elements into my play rather than just hitting solid back court.
Do you have any superstitions or quirky pre-game routines?
I have to listen to slow songs at my warm up to get into the right mood and attitude before my match!
What is your favourite shot?
Forehand boast. Being able to taxi someone with the boast gives me satisfaction and confidence in my game.
What is your favourite squash drill?
2 long 1 short with 1 counter in front on each rally. The drill allows so much freedom yet requires discipline in decision making.
What area of your game would you most like to improve?
I would most like to improve my movement on court, being more efficient and explosive.
Hong Kong has 5 women in the top 100, and 3 in the top 50. How popular is squash in Hong Kong?
It may not be the most popular racket sport in Hong Kong but we have a lot of squash courts in public sports centre and they are always fully booked for squash lovers.
Tell us one thing most people in the squash world won’t know about you…
I am good at drawing…
What would you be doing for a job or career if you weren’t playing squash?
Possibly something related to children because I love playing around with kids. With my degree in Psychology I could be a child psychologist.
What’s your career high so far?
Asian Individual Champion in 2021. It was totally unexpected and I and the rest of the HK team were in a tough condition where we had been on the road for months due to tight quarantine policy in HK. It was a dream-come-true moment.
The ‘divisor’ is being brought back in in January 2024 (having been removed during Covid). Do you have a view on how this will impact players in your ranking bracket?
I think the ‘divisor’ could create more ups and downs in the ranking as there is little room for poor performance. But I also think players will be more strategic when choosing tournaments to play.
Who do you see as the most skillful player on the tour today?
Nour El Sherbini! The variety of shots and the control she has is unbelievable.
Name one thing governing bodies or referees could do to improve squash for viewers?
I would say post-game analysis programme for SquashTV viewers so they can have a deeper understanding of what strategy the players are implementing – or maybe some views on debatable decisions by the referee to spark more discussions.
What’s your top tip for squash beginners?
Have fun! If you don’t get happiness from the sport you cannot move forward and improve.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a squash pro?
The best thing is I get to travel a lot more than my peers and learn about different culture and lifestyle.
The worst thing is being asked if I will be playing in the Olympics….