- Published on Thursday, 31 August 2017 23:36
- Written by Andy Yanne
- Hits: 1255
Players from Hong Kong were competing at the Road to Wimbledon Finals for the first time. Kelly Leung and Sheena Karrasch's win in the G14 doubles title was the highlight of the trip, while Coleman Wong, Tim Gauntlett, and Kelly also did extremely well to qualify for the knockout stages.
The pair of finalists from the Hong Kong qualifying events – Tim Gauntlett, Coleman Wong, Kelly Leung, and Sheena Karrasch – joined 140 other under-14 qualifiers from the GB regionals, as well as those from India and China, at the Road to Wimbledon Finals held at the All England Club during the week of August 14-19.
"The trip was a great thrill for players and coaches. It was very well-organized, from hospitality and transportation to tournament arrangement, we truly could not ask for a better Wimbledon experience. Not only did the players get to gain match experience on grass, they got to visit and enjoy the supreme facilities at the prestigious All England Lawn Tennis Club," said travelling coach, Jennifer Sher.
In the G14 doubles final, Kelly Leung and Sheena Karrasch defeated Alicia Dudeney of Sussex and Sofia Johnson of Kent, 6-1, 7-6(0), to take the title.
In the last sixteen of the B14 singles, while Coleman went down against eventual champion, Ali Habib (Middlesex), 6-3, 6-1, Tim Gauntlett managed to beat third seed, William Nolan (Derbyshire), 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, before No. 2-seeded Alex Knox-Jones (Dorset) ousted him in a close semifinal, 7-5, 6-4.
In the G14 singles, Kelly Leung managed to win her final round robin match to qualify. Then, she saw off Annabel Davis of Hertfordshire, 6-2, 6-3, to progress to the quarterfinals before top seed Alicia Dudeney of Sussex halted her progress, 6-4, 7-5.
Although Sheena Karrasch managed to beat Arabella Moen (Hertfordshire), the eventual second seed in the knockout stage, 7-5, 6-3, but her lone victory in the round robins was not good enough to advance her further. She suffered a pair of close losses earlier, having gone down in both via a third set super-tiebreak.
HSBC Road to Wimbledon is the biggest junior tournament in British tennis and gives all 14U players the opportunity to progress through to compete on the world-famous grass courts at Wimbledon. Over in the UK, local clubs, parks, and schools are encouraged to enter and stage a tournament for their members/pupils.
First established in 2002, RTW has since expanded to India in 2014 and China in 2016.
The Road to Wimbledon Hong Kong is a pilot scheme involving the collaboration between the AELTC, HSBC, and the HKTA. In town for its official launch back in April were RTW Tournament Director and former GB Davis Cup Captain, Paul Hutchins; HSBC Ambassador and former ATP No. 4, Tim Henman; and AELTC Head Coach, Dan Bloxham.
To view the photo gallery from the 2017 Road to Wimbledon Finals, please visit www.roadtowimbledon.com.