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 HKTA ― A Century of Tennis Minimize

1909

  • Hong Kong Lawn Tennis Association (HKLTA) founded.
  • League Tennis started with A Division.

1911

  • Hong Kong National Grasscourt Championships, first results on record

1929

  • Mixed Doubles League started

1937

  • Start of the National Hardcourt Championships

1938

  • HKLTA had 25 member clubs and 72 courts available on HK Island and over 80 courts in Kowloon the majority of which were grass. There were no public courts in those days.

1948

  • Ladies League commenced.
  • Ip Koon Hung, Yeung Wai Bun, Tsui Wai Pui and Tsui Yun Pui won the China National Games Men’s Singles, Ladies’ Singles and Doubles.
  • Chinese Recreation Club Open Hardcourt Championships were inaugurated.

1950

  • Ip Koon Hung reached the Finals of the Wimbledon plate.

1960

  • South China Athletic Association organised the SCAA HK Tennis Invitational.

1962

  • Tsui Yuen Yuen won the silver medal in doubles at the 4th Asian Games.

1967

  • Kenneth Tsui and Winston Wai won the doubles at the 2nd Asian Junior Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpur.

1970

  • Hong Kong entered the Davis Cup.

1973

  • First professional tennis MIPTC Tournament in Hong Kong (Viceroy Classic)

1981

  • Hong Kong entered the Federation Cup for the first time.

1982

  • Victoria Park Tennis Stadium was built.

1983

  • Patricia Hy (then playing for HK) was runner up in Junior Wimbledon Singles, and won the Junior Wimbledon Doubles title playing with Patty Fendick (USA)

1984

  • HKLTA dropped the lawn from the name and became HKTA.  Dr. Philip Kwok was the first HKTA President.
  • HKTA moved to the Jubilee Sports Centre (later renamed the Hong Kong Sports Institute, HKSI) in Shatin.

1987

  • Paulette Moreno (HKG) reached Junior Wimbledon Finals playing with Kim Il Soon (KOR).

1988

  • Hong Kong Tennis Foundation (HKTF) was formed and started to support many HKTA programmes.
  • Professional non-MIPTC event, Marlborough Championships, started.

1990

  • Salem Open ATP Tour event commenced.

1992

  • Hong Kong was promoted to Davis Cup Asian Zone Group I.
  • First year of the Michael Chang Tennis Stars of the Future programme.

1994

  • HKTA moved to the Hong Kong Sports House (now Olympic House).
  • HKTA hosted the ITF AGM and Dr. Stanley Ho and Dr. Henry Fok received Awards for Services to the Game from the ITF.

2000

  • Watson’s Water Challenge replaced Marlboro Classic.

2001

  • John Hui and Melvin Tong won the bronze medal of Men's Doubles event in the All China Games.
  • Hong Kong finished 5th in the Men’s team event at the All China Games.

2002

  • Mr. Kenneth Tsui became the second HKTA President.

2003

  • Brian Hung won the gold medal of Boys' Singles event in the 5th National Intercity Games in Changsha, Hunan.
  • HKTA inaugurated HKTA Hall of Fame.

2005

  • The Chinese Tennis Champions HK Tour was played at Victoria Park with top ladies’ players from China including Olympic Gold Medalists Sun Tian Tian and Li Ting.
  • Hong Kong Junior Federation Cup team qualified for the World Finals.
  • President of the ITF, Mr. Francesco Ricci Bitti visited HKTA.

2006

  • HKSI moved to Wu Kai Sha to enable the facilities at HKSI to be utilised for the Equestrian Olympics.

2007

  • HKTA successfully tendered for the Kowloon Tsai tennis courts.

2008

  • JB˙Group Classic replaced Watsons’ Water Challenge.
  • HKTA moved some of their operations to the HKTA Tennis Centre at Kowloon Tsai.

2009

  • HKTA has a new office at renovated Victoria Park Centre Court.
  • Zhang Ling played in the JB˙Group Classic as one of the Stars of Tomorrow.
  • East Asian Games will be played in Hong Kong in December.

2010

  • HKTA took part in the 1st Inter-city Tennis Association Tournament together with Jiangmen Tennis Association and Macau Tennis Association.

2011

  • Brian Yeung won the Silver Medal in the Men's Singles of the 7th Inter-city Games of China. 
  • HK qualified for the Junior Davis Cup World Finals.

 

 

 


  

 History of Hong Kong Tennis Minimize
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The State of Hong Kong Tennis in 1974

The HKLTA report for 1974 highlighted the need for further development. Three major tournaments had been held: the Viceroy Tennis Classic, the National Grasscourt Championships and the ILTF Amateur Championships of Asia. But limited revenues and the volume of administrative work served to emphasise the need for a more sound financial footing that a Sports Foundation, funded by the government, could help to provide.


The 1974 National Grasscourt Championships were held for the last time at the HKCC in Chater Road, bringing to an end an era where "the public, enjoying the easy access to the courts during lunch time and after office, would come and go as their time permitted, and the players and officials commingled pleasantly on the club's verandah".


The emergence of talented juniors such as Ling Fong and Kenneth Tsui led to Davis Cup participation in 1970, under the non-playing captaincy of lifelong tennis-servant Cyril Kotewall, though it was not until 1982 that Kelvin Ng recorded Hong Kong's first point, at home to the Philippines. Despite progress in men's tennis however, the 1984 HKLTA report also commented, less optimistically, that in the two sanctioned Open championships, organised by CRC and SCAA, only Men's events were held, and that "more will have to be done to attract young girls in secondary schools to take up the sport."


Support and Sponsorship

The establishment of the Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association in 1976 helped to consolidate the calendar of professional events, with consequential financial benefits to junior tennis development via the Hong Kong Tennis Foundation, which was set up in 1988 to obtain corporate sponsorship and donations for tennis programmes.


The Seiko Super tennis event, offering US$200,000 in prize money, was soon followed by the appearance of the world's very best players, in both the annual Marlborough 16-man exhibition event and the ATP Salem Open. Top-class women's tennis arrived more recently, featuring stars such as Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Venus Williams, Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova, and is now a regular feature on the local tennis calendar.


Representing Hong Kong

With Davis Cup competition since 1970, and Ladies' participation in the Fed Cup since 1981, young players like Melvin Tong, Wayne Wong, John Hui, Tong Ka-po and Willy Chan-Lee have frequently flown the Hong Kong flag, after previously working their way through rigorous junior coaching schemes and measuring their progress in worldwide junior international events.


Three Hong Kong-wide open hardcourt tournaments, the Hong Kong National Tennis Championships, the Chinese Recreation Club (CRC) Open Hardcourt Tennis Championships and the South China Athletic Association (SCAA) Open Championships, whose structure and openness have evolved since their inception, provide the basis for players to prove their worth and achieve national rankings.


In the 21st century the playing of tennis is widespread in Hong Kong with leagues and tournaments for all age-groups held throughout the year. With over 40 Affiliated Clubs, 8000 registered players and 600 courts, many open to the public, the sport's growing popularity is ensured.

 

By John Shaw
May 2002


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