|Ryoma: "Ponta! Ponta! Ponta!"|
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Ponta Pair is the accepted name to describe Sakuno and Ryoma. It is seemingly one-sided, attributed to the fact that they are still 12-year olds through majority of the series. Konomi Takeshi, the creator of the Prince of Tennis series, throws small implicit hints to the pairing's relationship.
Ryoma doesn't have obvious feelings for Sakuno seriously because of his dedication to tennis and his own early age, but does show his kind personality to her. He has rescued Sakuno from bullies several times, doesn't mind her tagging along with the team, and he has also coached her and Tomoka in tennis (although unwillingly; his father tricked him into doing so). He has once invited her to play tennis with him (after he is told to bring her to fix her strings) and often notes that her hair is too long, in a somewhat teasing way.
It is shown that Ryoma prefers Sakuno over Tomoka. This can be seen when Ryoma asked Tomoka to be quiet when cheering for him. He has never done this to Sakuno and interacts with her more. Sakuno understands and worries about Ryoma more than other people think. Before Ryoma left for America, Sakuno had not only let him have the tennis ball with his face on it, but also a tennis ball where she wrote "Nationals No. 1", saying that she believes he would be number one in the world. Ryoma thanks her and leaves for America. At the latter part of the anime, Sakuno writes a letter to Ryoma that shares everything he missed while in America, implying that she had a way of contacting him.
In the New Prince of Tennis series, Sakuno and Ryoma coincidentally meet after the latter had been kicked out of the UC-17 camp. Ryoma asks Sakuno to hang out with him and they end up going to an arcade and a tennis cage. In the manga and anime, Ryoma grabs Sakuno's hand as they run out of the Tennis cage after the boy destroys the wall. Sakuno voices her concern to Ryoma regarding his being out of character, showing not only compassion but great understanding of Ryoma's attitude and habit. When Ryoma had asked why Sakuno was out, she says she was praying for his victory to become a player of the Japanese team. Ryoma, in this scene, seems to nervously play with his collar as he hears her reason. Sakuno proceeds to mention that she had drawn a fortune for him and searches for it, only to fall before Ryoma, who opens it to read "Bad Luck". Several more drawn fortunes drop from Sakuno's bag, reading the same phrase. As Ryoma walks away, Sakuno runs to block him and shows him the last fortune she drew was "Good Luck", telling him that everything will turn alright in the end. Ryoma is seen to give her a small smile and, before they part ways, thanks her.
Konomi Takeshi had drawn two covers containing each individual, age written down as 23. In Ryoma's cover, there is an auburn braid sticking at the corner of the page, while in Sakuno's, a torso with a red jacket similar to the one Ryoma wears in his cover. He had also a drawing of the pairing in the kitchen making a meal. The mangaka solidifies the fact that the Ponta Pair is not an impossible pairing.