Jack Wong, Roger Ng, Sebastian Nothhaft, Kai Wai Yu, Oscar Wai, Eudice Chong, Cody Wong, Tiffany Wu, Maggie Ng, and Ng Kwan Yau represented Hong Kong at the 14th All China Games in Shaanxi. Events were held at the brand new Yangling Tennis Center. Eudice Chong in women’s singles and Jack Wong/Sebastian Nothhaft in men’s doubles were both one win away from medalling at the quadrennial sports gathering of the nation’s top tennis players featuring the likes of men’s No. 1 Zhang Zhizhen, who became the first Chinese player to compete in the men’s singles maindraw at Wimbledon earlier this year and, Wang Qiang, the two-time defending Asian Games and All China Games women’s singles champion.
In women’s singles, both EFG HKTA Tour Team athletes, Eudice Chong and Cody Wong, successfully negotiated their way to the third round, with the former saving a match point to advance past WTA No. 540 Zheng Wushuang (Jiangxi) 2-6, 7-5, after her opponent retired with a lower back injury, while the latter was eventually ousted in straight sets by No. 8 seed You Xiaodi (Hubei), a singles bronze medalist in Tianjin four years ago. Wong, 19, had earlier knocked out No. 10 seed and 2017 singles bronze medalist Lu Jia-Jing (Liaoning) with a 7-6(0), 6-4, victory in the first round. Women’s team coach, Karan Rastogi: “She played fearless tennis and did so with a freedom that was excellent to see. Her opponent came back strong in the second set, but Cody stuck to her game and pulled off a good win.”
Chong then faced off against fifth-seeded Wang Yafan (Sichuan) in the quarterfinals. She started off with a double-break 3-0 lead only to see Wang return the favor in the fourth and eighth games to draw even at 4-4. Chong’s response was swift and broke back immediately before she produced a love hold to take the first set 6-4. In the second, a sea-sawing affair ensued until Chong served for the match leading 5-4, but the former WTA No. 47 managed to flip a switch to ward off the HK rep and stayed solid down the stretch to bag the final nine games to win 4-6, 7-5, 6-0, to secure a semifinal spot. In her career, Wang won her lone WTA singles title at Acapulco in 2019, beating Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the final. The Sichuan rep has also beaten the likes of Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig, Elina Svitolina, Danielle Collins, French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova, and US Open champion Samantha Stosur, to name a few. Four years ago, Chong narrowly lost to No. 1 seed Zhang Shuai in round two, 7-6(4), 6-4.
In men’s doubles, the first-time partnership of Jack Wong/Sebastian Nothhaft registered a great start by defeating No. 5 seed Cui Jie/Te Rigele (Beijing) 7-6(7), 6-3, in the opening hurdle but fell one victory shy of a medal when they were upended, 6-1, 6-1, by No. 3 seed Zhang Ze/Hua Runhao (Jiangsu) in the quarterfinals. In Tianjin in 2017, Brian Yeung/Jack Wong were also a win away from the medal round when they were narrowly beaten by No. 1 seed and eventual champions Zhang Ze/Gong Mao-Xin (Jiangsu) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, in the last eight.
In mixed doubles second round action, the brother-sister combination of Jack Wong/Cody Wong was defeated by the 3rd-seeded team of Zhang Ze/SunZiyue (Jiangsu), 6-3, 6-2, who between them own 18 career pro circuit doubles titles. The pairing of Sebastian Nothhaft/Eudice Chong took advantage of some indecisive play from their opponents and dominated the second set breaker to force a third but the lone service break midway turned out to be the difference, as the 6th-seeded tandem of Mo Yecong/Wang Xinyu (Guangdong) prevailed, 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-4, in the end.
Hong Kong’s only medal to date came at the 9th All China Games in Guangzhou in 2001 when Melvin Tong and John Hui defeated No. 2 seed Zhu Ben-Qiang/Jiang Shan (Hubei) in the 3rd place playoff to earn a bronze in men’s doubles.
14th All China Games
Yangling Tennis Center, Shaanxi
September 1-14, 2021
(10)Wu Yibing (Zhejiang) d. Sebastian Nothhaft (HKG) 6-3 6-2
Huang Haoyuan (Jiangxi) d. Jack Wong (HKG) 7-6(6) 6-4
Jack Wong (HKG) d. Zeng Sida (Shaanxi) 6-2 6-3
Bu Yunchaokete (Zhejiang) d. Roger Ng (HKG) 6-2 6-3
Sebastian Nothhaft (HKG) d. Li Yi Ke (CHN) 6-2 6-4
Peng Renlong (Shandong) d. Kai Wai Yu (HKG) 6-0 6-1
(5)Wang Yafan (Sichuan) d. (16)Eudice Chong (HKG) 4-6 7-5 6-0
(16)Eudice Chong (HKG) d. Zheng Wushuang (Jiangxi) 2-6 7-5 Retired
(8)You Xiaodi (Hubei) d. Cody Wong (HKG) 6-1 6-1
(16)Eudice Chong (HKG) d. Liu Zhirui (Hunan) 6-1 6-2
Zheng Qinwen (Hubei) d. Tiffany Wu (HKG) 6-2 6-1
Cody Wong (HKG) d. Yuan Cheng Yiyi (Guanxi) 6-4 7-5
(16)Eudice Chong (HKG) d. Ruan Ziying (Heilongjiang) 6-1 6-0
Tiffany Wu (HKG) d. Zhuoma Ni Ma (Guangdong) 6-0 6-1
Cody Wong (HKG) d. (10)Lu Jia-Jing (Liaoning) 7-6(0) 6-4
Zhang Jin (Shandong) d. Maggie Ng (HKG) 4-6 6-4 6-1
(3)Zhang Ze/Hua Runhao (Jiangsu) d. Jack Wong/Seb Nothhaft (HKG) 6-1 6-1
Jack Wong/Seb Nothhaft (HKG) d. Yu Bingyu/Zhuo Shenglin (Hebei) 7-6(3) 6-4
Jack Wong/Seb Nothhaft (HKG) d. (5)Cui Jie/Te Rigele (Beijing) 7-6(7) 6-3
(4)Bai Yan/Sun Faijing (Hebei) d. Roger Ng/Oscar Wai (HKG) 6-2 6-2
(6)Han Xinyun/Ye Qiu Yu (Zhejiang) d. Eudice Chong/Cody Wong (HKG) 6-4 6-3
(8)Xun Fang Ying/Liu Chang (Jilin) d. Tiffany Wu/Ng Kwan Yau (HKG) 6-2 3-6 6-2
(3)Zhang Ze/SunZiyue (Jiangsu) d. Jack Wong/Cody Wong (HKG) 6-3 6-2
(6)Mo Yecong/Wang Xinyu (Guangdong) d. Seb Nothhaft/Eudice Chong (HKG) 6-1 6-7(3) 6-4
Jack Wong/Cody Wong (HKG) d. Zhang Yahan/Guo Hanyu (Guizhou) 6-1 6-2
Seb Nothhaft/Eudice Chong (HKG) d. Guan Jiacheng/Yao Sinong (MAC) 6-1 6-1