The Nissin Hong Kong National Junior Tennis Championships 2019 concluded with top seed Tim Gauntlett defeating Marvin Lee, 6-2, 6-4, to lift the B18 title, while Law Wing Yin battled Fung Tak Yu to a standstill before edging the third seed with a 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(6), victory to capture the G18 crown.
Presiding over the official prize presentation ceremony were:
Mr. Shinji Tatsutani, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Nissin Foods (HK) Limited
Mr. Clement Lee, HKTA Hon. Treasurer
Dr. Derek Ling, HKTA Player Development Committee Chairman
“I felt like it was a good tournament and it definitely gained me some confidence,” said Gauntlett. “It feels really nice to have won the B18 singles, as I lost in the final last year due to cramping. In the coming month, I’ll be competing in a couple of ITFs in Qatar, Hopefully, I’ll warrant a selection to the Junior Davis Cup in April.”
Gauntlett was unlucky in last year’s final when he was forced to retire in the third set against top seed Stephen Wong. This time round, he was highly-motivated to erase the disappointment of that encounter, as he broke No. 3 seed Marvin Lee in the opening game and quickly consolidated for a 2-0 lead.
After securing another service break in the seventh game, Gauntlett saved three break points from 0-40 down to hold for the first set, 6-2. The top seed then broke again immediately to start the second, but Lee responded with back-to-back breaks of his own to produce a 3-1 lead. However, Gauntlett was in no mood for any potential shenanigans, as he snagged the next four games with successive service breaks to go up 5-3.
Although Lee managed to stay afloat by saving a pair of match points from 15-40 down to hold for 5-4, the top seed was not to be denied, as he served out the set and the match, 6-4.
Gauntlett, who turns sixteen in August, has been advancing progressively at the Nationals since becoming the B14 champion in 2017, backing that up with a win in the B16 in 2018, and now the B18 this year. Earlier last month, he toured with the Asian 16 & Under ITF/GSDF Team to India where he reached his first career Grade 2 boys’ singles quarterfinal in New Delhi.
Last year, he was a member of the under-16 contingent that finished fourth in Junior Davis Cup Asia/Oceania qualifying, a result which garnered Hong Kong a place in the subsequent World Finals. However, Budapest will no longer be the site for the World Finals in 2019, as the ITF has confirmed Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida as the new host venue.
Meanwhile, the G18 singles title match featured a pair of first-time finalists at the Nissin Hong Kong National Junior Tennis Championships. The added intrigue, on many levels, is that last year, Fung Tak Yu defeated Law Wing Yin twice in finals at the SCAA Open.
Fung, a year younger at age 16, did not only produce a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1, victory to capture the inaugural girls’ singles title at King’s Park, but she also came out on top in the Chairman Cup ladies’ singles final with a 6-4, 6-4, decision against Law.
Fung, who has a Hong Kong National Junior Ranking of No. 7 in singles, was seeded third, while Law, who is ranked No. 10, was unseeded.
Right off the bat, Fung broke serve and consolidated swiftly to register a 2-0 lead after her opponent threw down three double faults in the opening game. However, the No. 3 seed was unable hold onto that advantage when Law wrestled three games in succession from 3-1 down to lead 4-3. After saving a break point to force a 4-4 impasse, Fung was able to break her opponent’s serve to love and then held confidently to take the first set 6-4.
In the second set, both players showed an abundance of resilience to avoid conceding their serve up until the ninth game when Law committed her eleventh double fault in the match to fall behind 5-4. Serving for the match, however, Fung failed to capitalise on the state of affairs, as Law returned the favour by breaking back for 5-5.
After both players held to take matters to a tiebreak, it was Law who managed to conjure the key mini-break to nudge in front 6-5 before holding her next serve to win the breaker 7-5 to even at a set apiece.
In the final set, Fung made the first move again by breaking for a quick-fire 2-0 lead. Law then responded instantly by embarking on a four-game run to go up 4-2, only to see the No. 3 seed fight back to an even-steven 4-4. With emotions nearing boiling point, four consecutive service breaks ensued, as the players brought proceedings to an inevitable tiebreak to decide the outcome of this match.
Fung managed to pounce early to secure a pair of mini-breaks to lead 5-2. Yet, she conceded her next two serves to allow her opponent to peg the score back to an entirely more manageable 5-4. The No. 3 seed did not dwell on the hiccup and added another mini-break to reach double match point at 6-4.
Law, however, held her next serve to close the gap to 6-5. Then, she forged consecutive mini-breaks to take the score to 7-6 before registering her fourth successive point to hold her next serve to pinch the tiebreak 8-6 to cap off a finale that clocked in at exactly three hours and fifteen minutes, 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(6).
Elsewhere, top seed Tam Sin Hang beat No. 3 seed Morris Tang, 4-2, 4-0, to win his third straight B10 singles title. Previously, he defeated Riku Kato and Andreas Foong respectively in 2017 and 2018. Hong Kong Davis Cupper, Kevin Wong, fashioned back-to-back wins in this age group back in 2004 and 2005. Tam also reached the B12 singles semifinals this year where he lost narrowly to No. 1 seed Jacob Shen, 6-2, 2-6, [6-3].
Lastly, congratulations to all the finalists and what a great showing as well from the rest of the competitors. Dominant displays, stunning upsets, and topsy-turvy three-set battles were merely some of the unforgettable highlights of the Nissin Hong Kong National Junior Tennis Championships 2019. Just who shall reign again in 12 months’ time? Come back and see in 2020!
Nissin Hong Kong National Junior Tennis Championships
Victoria Park Tennis Stadium, Causeway Bay
Jan 25-Feb 25, 2019
B18 (1)Tim Gauntlett d. (3)Marvin Lee 6-2 6-4
B16 (4)Wai Ching Wah d. (3)Bruno Loeffler 6-3 6-1
B14 (2)Max Kwok d. (1)Dasson Chan 6-4 7-6(3)
B12 (4)Bob Chan d. (1)Jacob Shen 6-1 6-3
B10 (1)Tam Sin Hang d. (3)Morris Tang 4-2 4-0
G18 Law Wing Yin d. (3)Fung Tak Yu 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(6)
G16 (3)Kaye Au-Yeung d. (1)Kelly Leung 6-3 6-7(4) 6-2
G14 (1)Chloris Li d. (2)Ophelia Tang 6-0 6-1
G12 (1)Yeung Tsz Lam d. (3)Jane Wong 6-1 6-4
G10 (3)Jasdeep Kaur v (4)Sze Hiu Tung 0-4 5-4(6) 4-0
B18 Adam Chow/Lee Hon Chun d. (1)Kevin Wong/Jay Wong 6-3 4-6 [10-6]
B16 (1)Tim Gauntlett/Marvin Lee d. (2)Ethan Leung/Malhar Rajpal 6-4 6-2
B14 (1)Max Kwok/Dasson Chan d. (2)Curtis Tan/Wang Sui Lun 7-5 6-3
B12 (1)Antonio Lee/Jacob Shen d. Bob Chan/Tam Sin Hang 6-4 6-7(4) [10-5]
G16 (1)Kaye Au-Yeung/Candy Wai d. (2)Hannah Shen/Butter Cheung 3-6 7-5 [10-4]
G14 (1)Erica Hagi/Ophelia Tang d. (2)Chan Yee Ting/Leung Wing Man 6-3 6-4
G12 (1)Lai Ching Laam/Yeung Tsz Lam d. (2)Naomi Hagi/Lee Tsz Lu 6-1 7-6(1)