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Local players make it a clean sweep at ITF Grade 5


Local players make it a clean sweep at ITF Grade 5

At the Hong Kong ITF Grade 5 TournamentSheena Masuda Karrasch defeated Lin Wing Ka, 6-1, 6-3, to capture her maiden ITF girls’ singles title, while Coleman Wong bested Sunny Yue, 6-4, 6-2, to bag the boys’ equivalent. The winning combinations of Lam Chun and Sunny Yue in the boys’ doubles, and Sheena Masuda Karrasch and Lin Wing Ka in the girls’ doubles, completed the sweep.

“I’m really happy that I finally got my first title, but it’s even better that I got to do it in Hong Kong. Winning both titles, and overcoming six matches in the last two days, wasn’t easy, but I had lots of support out there, so it was worth it,” said Sheena.

With persistent rain heavily affecting the schedule of matches early on in the week, players such as Sheena Masuda Karrasch, Lin Wing Ka, and Sunny Yue, who reached the finals in both singles and doubles, were forced to play their quarterfinal matches and beyond over the last couple of days.

In the girls’ singles final, Lin Wing Ka broke her opponent to love to pocket the opening game and led 1-0. Sheena then returned the favour by breaking back three times without losing serve to take the next six games and the set, 6-1.

After both players held at the beginning of the second set, Lin Wing Ka threw down another pair of double faults to concede her serve and trailed 2-1. Sheena quickly consolidated the break and take the score to 3-1 in her favour.

Both players then held confidently to arrive at 4-2 when Lin made a huge effort to save three break points, yet also wasting three game points of her own, before Sheena finally broke her opponent again for a 5-2 lead.

To her credit, Lin’s response was swift and broke back at once to peg the score momentarily to 5-3. However, at 30-30 in the ensuing game, Lin coughed up consecutive double faults to lose serve, and the match, 6-1, 6-3.

This was Sheena maiden ITF girls’ singles title. Her previous best result had been reaching the semifinals at the ITF Grade 4 in Hong Kong earlier this year and the semis of the GreenMax Cup International Junior Championships Week 2 in 2017.

Sheena is now at a new career-high ITF No. 508, while Lin Wing Ka is also up to a new personal best of No. 358.

In the boys’ final, the opening set between No. 4 seed Coleman Wong and No. 3 seed Sunny Yue, the two exchanged a pair of breaks to reach 3-3, and then 4-4, but in the pivotal ninth game, although Yue managed to save a break point to force deuce, he threw down a costly double fault two points later to yield serve to trail 5-4.

Yue then saved another pair of set points to force Wong’s 40-15 lead back to deuce, but that was not enough to deter Wong from taking the next two points to wrap up the first set, 6-4.

In the second set, Wong pounced on Yue’s serve and broke his opponent twice in succession to jump out to a whopping 4-0 lead. Servers then dominated the rest of the way until the eighth game when Wong saved two break points from 15-40 down to force deuce. Yue then carved himself two more break points but could not convert, while Wong wasted a number of match points until the fourth when he finally came good to hold for 6-2.

This was Wong’s second career ITF boys’ singles title after his triumph at the IT&E Northern Marianas Grade 5 Junior Championships back in May. Coleman Wong is now at a career-high ITF No. 483 and he will be heading to the Junior Davis Cup World Finals as one of the team’s singles players.

In the boys’ doubles, Lam Chun and Sunny Yue were never troubled the entire week, as they racked up straight-sets victories throughout the draw, including the final against No. 2 seed Odeda Arazza of Indonesia and Yusuke Tamaki of Japan, 6-3, 6-3.

Lam was the doubles lynchpin for this year’s Hong Kong Junior Davis Cup team, including the crucial quarterfinal win over Korea at the Asia/Oceania Qualifying that clinched the team’s passage to this August’s World Finals in Budapest, Hungary.

In the girls’ doubles final, it was an all-Hong Kong affair between No. 1 seed Sheena Masuda Karrasch and Lin Wing Ka against unseeded Jacqueline Lam and Luk Kei Yuen. The latter pair has done extremely well this week, knocking out No. 4 seed Kwok Hong Kiu and Law Wing Yin, 6-2, 5-7, [10-8], in the quarterfinals, not to mention No. 2 seed Li Xuanjin of China and Dianela Rodriguez of Mexico in the semis, 3-6, 6-3, [10-3].

However, the No. 1 seed played solid tennis in the final to prevail in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. At the same time, this was the first final on the ITF Junior Circuit for both Jacqueline Lam and Luk Kei Yuen.

Congratulations to all the finalists, and all the other competitors. See you again next year!