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Kevin Wong and Brian Yeung combine for first all-HK pro circuit title


Kevin Wong and Brian Yeung combine for first all-HK pro circuit title

Kevin Wong and Brian Yeung made history over the weekend when they became the first all-Hong Kong tandem to capture an ITF Pro Circuit men’s doubles title after they beat local entry Ly Hoang Nam and Le Quoc Khanh, 7-6(5), 6-4, to win the US$15,000 Vietnam F1 Futures.

“Well, technically we’ve been working for this for more than 10 years ever since we first started playing together in the juniors!” said Brian Yeung. “Honestly, we always knew we had the potential to win, but perhaps we just didn’t have enough conviction in the past.”

“However, we came into this tournament knowing it is a winnable one for us. We’ve been working a lot with Ilija Vucic and Lee Hsin-Han and they gave us great support throughout this week.”

“The tournament itself turned out to be extremely challenging, with the hot and humid conditions and the huge home crowd support for our opponents. The final wasn’t that pretty, and we can definitely still improve on a lot of things. But we were focused and we fought for every ball. We were able to take advantage of several key opportunities in the final and converted them to win the match in the end,” he added.

“Winning titles is obviously gratifying, but to do it with a fellow player from Hong Kong is even better, especially since it has never been done before,” said Kevin Wong.

Earlier, the duo from Hong Kong overcame No. 1 seed Justin Barki of Indonesia and Soichiro Moritani of Japan in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 4-6, [10-8], in addition to scorching conditions with on-court temperatures reaching 45°C at times during the week.

Moreover, Wong and Yeung needed to subdue a raucous partisan crowd during the final against Le Quoc Khanh and Ly Hoang Nam, the current Vietnamese number one who owns an ATP Ranking of No. 461 in singles and No. 651 in doubles.

In the opening set, Ly and Le made the first move to break for a 3-2 lead only to see the HK pair return the favour immediately to force a 3-3 impasse. Servers then dominated the rest of the way until the tiebreak when the HK duo produced a pair of mini-breaks to lead 4-2.

A running backhand down-the-line passing shot by Yeung saw them arrive at 6-3 with three set points in hand. Although Ly managed to save the first two on his serve, it was not enough to prevent the HK pair from securing the set when Wong threw down a solid first serve out wide to enable an easy put away by Yeung to make it 7-5.

The ensuing set was closely fought until the seventh game when the HK duo pounced on Le’s serve to break him for a 4-3 lead. Wong and Yeung consolidated the break at once for 5-3 with strong serving that was highlighted by a pair of blistering aces. They threatened to end proceedings by converging on Ly’s service game, but the Vietnamese No. 1 stood tall to hold for 5-4.

To their credit, Ly and Le did not fold, and still threatened to complicate matters by grinding their way to 15-30 and 30-40 leads on Yeung’s next service game. However, Wong produced a pair of booming down-the-line smashes to nullify the impending danger each time to draw even. Yeung then painted the line with a first serve winner to wrap up the match in straight sets, 7-6(5), 6-4.

Players from Hong Kong with ITF Pro Circuit men’s doubles titles:

2001 Hong Kong F2 Futures John Hui w/ Anthony Ross (AUS)
2002 Japan F4 Futures John Hui w/ Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE)
2006 Indonesia F2 Futures Yu Hiu Tung w/ Lee Hsin-Han (TPE)
2015 Hong Kong F1 Futures Brian Yeung w/ Hsieh Cheng-Peng (TPE)
2016 Hong Kong F4 Futures Brian Yeung w/ Hsieh Cheng-Peng (TPE)
2018 Qatar F3 Futures Kevin Wong w/ Sun Fajing (CHN)

US$15,000 Vietnam F1 Futures ‒ Vietravel Cup
An Cuu Stadium, Vietnam
May 1-5, 2018

Men’s Doubles

First Round
Kevin Wong/Brian Yeung (HKG) d. (4)Ilija Vucic/Jack Wong (SRB/HKG) 6-3 3-6 [10-3]

Kevin Wong/Brian Yeung (HKG) d. Aaron Addison/Chanchai Sookton-Eng (AUS/THA) 6-1 6-3

Kevin Wong/Brian Yeung (HKG) d. (1)Justin Barki/Soichiro Moritani (INA/JPN) 6-1 4-6 [10-8]

Kevin Wong/Brian Yeung (HKG) d. (WC)Ly Hoang Nam/Le Quoc Khanh (VIE) 7-6(5) 6-4