Ushering in new title sponsor Orbis Bloodstock, details of the SCAA Open Tennis Championships 2018 were announced by the tournament’s organizer at a press conference earlier this week. Prize money this year totals HK$200,000, with HK$30,000 going to the men’s singles champion and HK$15,000 for the winner of the men’s doubles. The finals will take place at King’s Park on October 28.
Entry forms can be downloaded from www.scaatennis.org.
SCAA Chairman Andy Lo remarked in his speech, 「SCAA strives to foster the growth and support the broad development of local tennis. The Championships is now one of the landmark tennis events. We are grateful to have top tennis players from Greater China and appreciate the continuous support from Hong Kong tennis squad.」
Aside from the traditional men’s & ladies』 singles, doubles, and mixed doubles events in the Open category, as well as men’s & ladies』 singles and doubles in the Chairman Cup, a brand new open junior singles event is added this time round.
Tournament Director, Dr. David Ho, notes, 「We are pleased to announce the Championships will start on 18 August, the Finals and prize presentation ceremony will be on 28 October. This year, a brand new Junior Open Singles Championships is introduced and dedicated to under-18 players. It will take place from August 25 to September 9, and we are looking forward to active participation of players.」
In doing so, Wong matched the hat-trick of titles by Tau Luu (1974-76) and Michael Walker (1989-91). American Philip King, however, still owns the record of four straight he won from 2011-14.
The defending champion will face stiff competition this year, most notably Kevin Wong, who’s three-set victory at the CRC Open 2017 not only thwarted the teenager’s attempt of a three-peat there, but also his completion of the local Triple Crown also.
Other full-time players, such as Brian Yeung, Skyler Butts, and 16-year-old Roger Ng, who knocked out Kevin Wong in the quarterfinals of the HK Nationals back in April, will no doubt all be gunning to make their presence felt.
Since the advent of the SCAA Open in the early 1970s, only five men have managed to win all three local majors in the same calendar year: Tau Luu (1976), Colin Grant (1984), Shane Barr (1997), Goran Bosalevski (2007), and Phillip King (2013).
On the ladies』 side, Maggie Ng saw off Ki Yan Tung, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, to win the SCAA Open ladies』 singles crown for a record-breaking sixth successive year twelve months ago. Unless full-time players, such as Zhang Ling, Eudice Chong, Ng Kwan Yau, and Wu Ho Ching are entering the fray, Ng will likely have a big say in the title run again.
Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Hong Kong Junior Fed Cup player, Cody Wong, who is now at a career-high ITF Junior Ranking of No. 69, won last year’s CRC Open ladies』 singles and could potentially upset the status quo.
Related story: Jack Wong, Maggie Ng are SCAA Open 2017 champions