Cody Wong defeated Russian No. 13 seed Anastasia Tikhonova and Spanish Grade A Porto Alegre winner Ane Mintegi Del Olmo to reach the last sixteen of the girls』 singles at Wimbledon before bowing out to No. 4 seed Diane Parry. The 17-year-old is the first player from Hong Kong to venture that far at SW19 since Patricia Hy finished runner-up way back in 1983.
The Wimbledon that year was Hy’s final tournament as a junior, as she accepted a tennis scholarship soon after to attend UCLA where she was a singles All-American. She later turned pro and reached a career-high WTA Ranking of No. 28 in singles and No. 38 in doubles.
「My opponent was a little too good today. She has a strong serve, which is so important on grass. Disappointed for sure, but I tried my best. Just need to keep working hard and I hope I will do better at the US Open,」 said Cody. 「I want to say thank you to my family, my coach, all the friends from Hong Kong, and especially to EFG, for their wonderful support.」
Arriving upon England from the slow red clay of Roland Garros, her form on grass heading into Wimbledon was indifferent, with early exits at both the Grade 1 Nottingham and Roehampton warm-up events.
Drawn against No. 13 seed Anastasia Tikhonova of Russia, an Australian Open girls』 singles semifinalist and French Open doubles runner-up, Cody lost the first three games before she got on the board. However, she regrouped in time to find another gear and broke her opponent four times the rest of the way to register a 6-4, 6-2, victory in what was her Wimbledon girls』 singles maindraw debut.
「I was really tight in the beginning and fell behind 4-1. After that, I took a few deep breaths and just tried to start afresh, pushing myself to put that one more extra ball in play every time. It’s good that I managed to win in two sets to finish the match.」
Tikhonova had already won her maiden pro circuit women’s singles title at the W15 Kazan and has a current WTA Ranking of No. 649.
In the second round, Cody dominated junior world No. 27 and Grade A Porto Alegre winner Ane Mintegi Del Olmo of Spain to win in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. She broke the WTA No. 768 five times and held a significant 58-41 Total Points Won advantage.
In the last sixteen, Cody was matched up against Grade A Copa Yucatan winner, French No. 4 seed Diane Parry, an atypical junior with a single-handed backhand who is equally adept at chip-and-charge tactics behind a backhand slice. She came to Wimbledon backed by a solid semifinal showing at the Grade 1 Roehampton.
Alas, Cody’s fine run at this year’s Championships ended after Parry produced an inspired performance to win their last sixteen face-off in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. The fourth seed put the Hong Kong rep under an onslaught of unremitting pressure, as Parry went to the net over twenty times, won 81% of those points, and never lost serve.
In May, Parry beat WTA No. 102 Vera Lapko of Belarus in straight sets to win her first women’s singles maindraw match at Roland Garros. She is presently ranked at a career high WTA No. 330.
Singer Eason Chan was among the supporters, as Cody teamed up with French girl Carole Monnet to take the opening set against No. 3 seed Natsumi Kawaguchi and Adrienn Nagy before the Japanese-Hungarian duo fought back to win their girls』 doubles first round encounter, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The final Grand Slam of the year − US Open Junior Tennis Championships − will take place from September 1-8 at Flushing Meadows, New York.
The Junior Championships, Wimbledon
July 9-14, 2019
Cody Wong (HKG) d. (13)Anastasia Tikhonova (RUS) 6-4 6-2
Cody Wong (HKG) d. Ane Mintegi Del Olmo (ESP) 6-1 6-3
(4)Diane Parry (FRA) d. Cody Wong (HKG) 6-2 6-3
(3)Natsumi Kawaguchi/Adrienn Nagy (JPN/HUN) d. Cody Wong/Caroline Monnet (HKG/FRA) 2-6 6-3 6-4
Images: Andy Cheung / ArcK Photography