Maiden title for Kevin Wong, Cody Wong at CRC Open 2017

Kevin Wong halted top seed Jack Wong's two-year stranglehold by winning their men's singles final showdown, 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-4, on Sunday at the CRC Open 2017 while, earlier on Saturday, Cody Wong was taken to the distance before beating Justine Leong, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), to claim the ladies' crown.

 

"Opening set, he was the better player," said Kevin.  "I realised I wasn't getting any upper hand staying back, so I decided to come forward, be more aggressive, and attack the net.  The tactical adjustment worked out well for me."

 

"Breaking him at 5-6 was obviously key, but I kind of lucked out because he didn't serve well in that twelfth game, especially having been up 30-0.  The second set tiebreak was still close.  It was only a difference of a couple of points here and there, and it could have gone either way."

 

"As full-time players, we train quite a bit together at the Sports Institute and as squad members of the Hong Kong team, so we are familiar with each other's game.  We are well aware of each other's tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses.  That said, even though we're friends off the court, when we face-off out there, we're competitors," he added.

 

"I served well in the first set, but I lost concentration after I fought back to lead 6-5 in the second.  Kevin started to play really well, and his forehands were extremely solid today," said Jack, who was attempting to three-peat after beating Phillip King and Allen Belobrajdic the last two years.

 

Players to capture three or more consecutive CRC Open men's singles titles were Ip Koon Hung (1957-1960 & 1962-1964), Tau Luu (1970-1977), Randall King (1980-1982), Michael Walker (1988-1991), and Phillip King (2011-2013).

 

In a battle of two teenagers in Saturday's ladies' singles final, 16-year-old Justine Leong (ITF 378) had a much better start than the No. 1 seed, as she hit with high consistency to force a plethora of errors from Cody Wong (ITF 153).  Despite a protracted exchange on almost every single point, Justine managed to produce three service breaks in all to take the opener, 6-3.

 

In the ensuing set, Cody jumped out to a 5-1 lead only to see Justine save a pair of set points to peg the score back to 5-3 after a titanic eighth game.  However, the number one seed regrouped to break her opponent for the fourth time to seal the set, 6-3.

 

In the decider, the players exchanged a pair of early service breaks to take proceedings to 4-4 when Cody squandered two game points to concede her serve to trail 5-4.  As if abiding by the topsy-turvy nature of the final since the opening point, Cody broke back immediately to love to force a 5-5 impasse.

 

After holding for a 6-5 lead, the top seed threatened to close out the match with sweetly-struck down-the-line winners off both wings but, to her credit, Justine weathered the storm to hold for 6-6 to send matters into a tiebreak.

 

However, as soon as she headed for the changeover, Justine was beset with cramps that needed a lengthy injury timeout.

 

With both legs heavily strapped and movement visibly impaired, Cody wasted no time in winning five points in a row to give her a huge 6-1 advantage before taking the breaker seven points to four to end the three-hour affair, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4).

 

"It feels great to win my first CRC Open ladies' singles title," said Cody.  "I was a little tight in the early going and fell behind.  My opponent also played well, but luckily I managed to keep my emotions in check and started to play better as the match went on."

 

"I'm hoping to improve my world ranking and compete in the maindraws of the Junior Grand Slams next year.  I want to play against the top players in the world on a consistent basis," she added.

 

Earlier last month, Cody won the ITF Grade 2 girls' singles title in Beijing to become the first Hong Kong player to do so at this level since Zhang Ling in 2005.

 

At 15, Cody is the youngest CRC Open ladies' singles winner since Katherine Ip triumphed at the same age in 2010.  The youngest on record is former Hong Kong Fed Cupper, Paulette Moreno, who won the first of her five titles at age 12 back in 1981.

 

The CRC Open began in 1948 with just the men's singles & doubles and the schoolboys' singles & doubles.  The inaugural ladies' singles event started in 1977, won by HKTA Hall of Famer, Mrs. Ling Tsui Yuen Yuen.

 

Meanwhile, in the men's doubles final, raging favourites Kevin and Jack Wong were mired in a dogfight and struggled for long stretches against Chinese Taipei's Chen I-Ta and Lin Keng-Cheng before the top-seeded duo finally came good with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, victory under the floodlights.

 

 

Results
CRC Open 2017
Chinese Recreation Club
November 20-26, 2017

 

Men's Singles
(2)Kevin Wong d. (1)Jack Wong 2-6 7-6(2) 6-4


Ladies' Singles
(1)Cody Wong d. Justine Leong 3-6 6-3 7-6(4)


Men's Doubles
(1)Kevin Wong/Jack Wong d. Chen I-Ta/Lin Keng-Cheng (TPE) 4-6 6-4 7-5

Ladies' Doubles
Justine Leong/Kim Hye Jung d. Sher Chun Wing/Sher Pui Wing 6-4 1-6 6-4

Mixed Doubles
Chen I-Ta/Hwang I-Hsuan (TPE) d. Kelvin Lam/Sher Chun Wing 6-2 6-2

Official Ball 指定網球

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