Congratulations to Dasson Chan, Chung Lai Ching, Chloris Li, and Ophelia Tang, who qualified for The Road to Wimbledon Finals later this summer where they will compete against their peers from the UK, China, India, and Japan on the hallowed grass courts of the All England Club.
The RTW Finals will take place from August 11-17, comprising both boys’ and girls’ singles and doubles events.
“To be able to play at the All England Club at such a young age, not to mention the experience of competing on grass courts, can only broaden our players’ horizons and give them the confidence to compete internationally further down the road,” remarked HKTA President, Philip Mok. “The collaboration between Road to Wimbledon and HKTA gives Hong Kong junior players an international platform to hone their tennis skills and I am hopeful that they can take this valuable experience home with them and use it as an inspiration to excel in the game. It is wonderful to see tennis having such a positive impact on young people, as they strive to make progress in a sport that they love.”
The Road to Wimbledon International series of tournaments aims to provide opportunities for young players to compete on grass at an early stage of skills development, ultimately contributing towards the development of youth tennis players in Asia.
Both top 16 boys and top 16 girls locally were initially divided into four groups, with the top 2 advancing to the knockout stage following round robin play.
In the boys’ competition, Etienne Lee, the 2015 Hong Kong Nationals 10 & Under champion, defied the seedings by beating 2018 Hong Kong Nationals 12 & Under champion and No. 5 seed Eren Cheung, 6-3, 7-6(6), in the round robins. Then, he defeated No. 4 seed Jiang Muk Chau, the 2017 Hong Kong Nationals 12 & Under champion, 6-4, 3-6, [10-6], in the quarterfinals before he was halted by top seed Dasson Chan.
Dasson Chan, the 2019 Hong Kong Nationals 14 & Under finalist and a member of this year’s World Junior Tennis team, went on to beat No. 2 seed Chung Lai Ching, the 2018 Hong Kong Nationals 14 & Under semifinalist, in the title game, 6-1, 6-2, after he closed out both sets strongly with a four-game run.
In the girls’ competition, the quarterfinal match between No. 2 seed Ophelia Tang and No. 3 Erica Hagi turned out to be a battle royale, with the former coming from a set down to win, 3-6, 6-4, [11-9]. After seeing off No. 5 seed Che Sin Yu, 6-4, 6-2, in the semifinal, Ophelia Tang ran into top seed Chloris Li, who had beaten her twice at this year’s Nissin Hong Kong National Junior Tennis Championships. Their first encounter occurred in the G16 quarterfinals, followed by another in the G14 final.
This time round, however, Ophelia Tang turned the tables on her WJT teammate, and it took some effort. In the first set, Chloris Li broke twice immediately to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Although Ophelia Tang managed to recover one of those breaks, she lost four points in a row from 40-15 up in the ninth game to concede her serve and the set, 6-3.
In the second, Ophelia Tang broke early to lead 2-0 only to see the top seed return the favour in the sixth game to draw even, 3-3. At 4-4, Chloris Li had a pair of game points when she led 40-15 but the No. 2 seed snatched the next four points to break again for 5-4. After double-faulting to fall behind 0-30 in the next game, Ophelia Tang again grabbed four points in succession to hold for 6-4 to force a deciding set super-tiebreak.
Ophelia Tang, the 2018 Hong Kong National G12 singles champion, flew out of the gates and conjured three mini-breaks to take a 6-0 lead before Chloris Li produced a mini-break of her own to cut the deficit to 6-1. However, she lost the next two points on serve and saw her opponent hold again for a whopping 9-1 advantage. Although the No. 1 seed proceeded to save three match points to peg the score back to 9-4 momentarily, it was a case of too little, too late, as Ophelia Tang finally converted on her fourth match point to win it 3-6, 6-4, [10-4].
Ophelia Tang is the 2018 Hong Kong Nationals 12 & Under champion and the 10 & Under champion in 2016. Chloris Li is the 2017 Hong Kong Nationals 12 & Under champion and the 2019 14 & Under title winner. Ophelia Tang, Chloris Li, and Erica Hagi were teammates on this year’s Hong Kong G14 team that placed sixth at the ITF World Junior Tennis Asia/Oceania Qualifying in Kuala Lumpur.
Also, in town for The Road to Wimbledon Hong Kong 2019 were former two-time Grand Slam doubles champion and British men’s No. 1, Jeremy Bates; Full-time coach to Andy Murray, Jamie Delgado; and former British women’s No. 1 and girls’ performance coach, Lucie Ahl. They trio conducted a workshop for local coaches at Victoria Park to share some of their knowledge, in addition to holding clinics for juniors at both Hong Kong Cricket Club and Kowloon Cricket Club, the two host clubs who graciously opened up their grass courts to facilitate The Road to Wimbledon Hong Kong 2019.
“We are proud to work with emerging tennis talents as they develop their grass court tennis skills. By returning to Hong Kong each year, we have the opportunity to enhance the grass court skills of Hong Kong’s junior players as they train with world-class coaches and gain international experience in competitive grass court tennis,” said RTW Tournament Director, Jamie Baker.
The Road to Wimbledon Hong Kong Masters
Hong Kong Cricket Club/Kowloon Cricket Club
April 22-26, 2019
Boys’ 14U Singles
(1)Dasson Chan d. Joshua Kim 6-3 6-4
Etienne Lee d. (4)Jiang Muk Chau 6-4 3-6 [10-6]
(3)Wang Sui Lun d. (8)Bryan Hui 6-2 6-3
(2)Chung Lai Ching d. Lucas Mock 6-0 6-3
(1)Dasson Chan d. Etienne Lee 6-0 6-0
(2)Chung Lai Ching d. (3)Wang Sui Lun 6-1 6-3
(1)Dasson Chan d. (2)Chung Lai Ching 6-1 6-2
Girls’ 14U Singles
(1)Chloris Li d. (7)Chan Yee Ting 6-1 6-4
Ananya Madduri d. (8)Yeung Tsz Lam 6-3 6-2
(5)Che Sin Yu d. (4)Lam Yuen Ting 7-6(6) 6-7(7) [10-7]
(2)Ophelia Tang d. (3)Erica Hagi 3-6 6-4 [11-9]
(1)Chloris Li d. Ananya Madduri 6-0 6-1
(2)Ophelia Tang d. (5)Che Sin Yu 6-4 6-2
(2)Ophelia Tang d. (1)Chloris Li 3-6 6-4 [10-4]