After winning the U10 and U12 girls’ singles in 2018 and 2020 respectively, Rosalyn Chan doubled her haul of trophies by bagging both the U14 and U16 titles this year as the top seed. On the boys’ side, although Walter Tam came away second best in the U14 final for the second consecutive time, he picked up the U16 title instead to add to his past tally of three U10 and two U12 titles over the previous five years.
A big thank you to Mr. Shinji Tatsutani, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Nissin Foods for taking the time to join HKTA President Philip Mok, and Hon. Treasurer Clement Lee. Former Hong Kong junior No. 1 Cody Wong was also invited by Nissin to make her presence felt as a prize presenter at the ceremony on Sunday.
Cody, now a full-time player, won the U10 titles from 2011-2012, U14 in 2014 and 2016, and U16 in 2017. She then embarked on the ITF Junior Circuit where she peaked at No. 18 in the world before her last year of eligibility was cut short by the pandemic. She has since captured two women’s singles and eleven doubles titles on the pro circuit.
Etienne Lee, currently ranked sixteenth in the local B18 ranking, upset No. 4 seed Wang Sui Lun in the final in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1, to win the Boys’ 18 & Under title. From 2-2, Lee went on a 4-game tear, thwarting his opponent on three straight game points to hold in the eighth to snatch the first set. Then, after losing his opening service game in the second, Lee proceeded to take the next six games on the trot to conclude proceedings to lift his maiden U18 title. Back in 2015, Etienne Lee also claimed the U10 boys’ title here at the Hong Kong National Junior Championships.
In the Girls’ 18 & Under, with defending champ Ophelia Tang still sidelined since last November with a wrist injury, top seed Chloris Li was never seriously threatened by the rest of the field, with the only slight drama coming in the semifinals where she dropped the opener against No. 3 seed Athena Yeung before she came good with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-0 victory. Qualifier Elaine Lu emerged from the bottom half of the draw after she received a walkover from No. 2 seed Jane Wong in the first round and then beating Wong Yee Wai next up, 7-6(3), 7-5. Then, in the semifinal, her opponent Vienna Lai, the No. 4 seed, had led 4-1 in the first set but was forced to retire with a shoulder injury. In the final, Chloris Li beat Elaine Lu, 6-0, 6-1, en route to the U18 title she first won here in 2020.
In the U16 boys’ singles, the highly anticipated semifinal showdown between top seed Antonio Lee and No. 4 seed Walter Tam did not materialise, as the latter took advantage of his opportunity to advance to the final where he beat unseeded Li Ho Wan, 6-2, 6-2, for his maiden triumph in this age group. However, in the U14 boys’ singles, Walter Tam, the No. 1 seed, was beaten by WJT teammate Jacker Cheung, the 3rd seed, in the finale. Faced with a 5-1 first set deficit, Tam finally began to make inroads on the Cheung serve only to see his opponent save four break points to conclude the opener, 6-1. The score was much closer in the second, with servers dominating proceedings until 3-3 when Tam managed to claim just three points in his next two service games, as Cheung rode a match-clinching three-game roll to win it, 6-1, 6-3. Last year, with three U10 and two U12 singles titles under his belt over a five-year period, Tam also reached the U14 final but came away second best against Jacob Shen, who had a two-year advantage age-wise.
The results of the U14 and U16 girls’ singles, on the other hand, went according to seeding, as Rosalyn Chan, top seed for both events, made her intentions known right from the get go. In the U14s, she did not drop a game in her first three matches before seeing off No. 3 seed and last year’s U12 champ, Hebe Leung, 6-4, 6-4, in the semis. In the final, she jumped out to a double-break, 5-1 lead in both sets to beat WJT teammate Celeste Yeh, 6-2, 6-1, to capture her first title in this age group. In the U16s, Chan again won all her matches in straight sets all the way to the final, including a 6-1, 6-2 victory over 3rd seed Athena Yeung in the last four. In the title match against the 2021 U14 champ and a starter on this year’s Junior Billie Jean King Cup team, Vienna Lai, Chan dropped a set for the first time in these championships but was able to come away with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 decision to add to her U10 and U12 singles in 2018 and 2020 respectively here at the Hong Kong National Junior Championships.
The U12 boys’ final turned out to be a roller-coaster of an affair between No. 1 seed Kyle Wan, the two-time U10 champion the past two years and 6th seed Jaden Chui. Trailing 3-2 in the first, Wan strong-armed four games in a row to snag the opener, 6-3. In the second, Chui held at 15 then broke the top seed to love to grab a 2-0 lead. With neither player letting up, Wan saved 5 break points before he yielded his serve again. Chui was then forced to deuce three times before he managed to consolidate the break for a whopping 4-0 advantage. However, Wan stayed composed to run off five consecutive games himself, breaking Chui twice during the stretch to regain a 5-4 lead. Down 15-40 in the ensuing game and facing double match point, Chui won the next four points to even at 5-5. Then, Wan held game point five times but was eventually broken by Chui, who subsequently held at 15 to snatch the set, 7-5. The score was 2-2 in the third when Wan had to save a break point to edge ahead 3-2. In the ensuing game, Chui jumped out to a 40-0 lead but conceded the next five points to lose serve. Wan wasted no time and consolidated the break to take a huge 5-2 lead. With Chui serving to stay in the match, he had two game points but was unable to convert. Then, he somehow managed to save two more match points before a costly double fault ended any potential fightback. Game, set, and match Wan, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.
In the U10 boys’ singles final, it was No. 6 seed Wong Him who made the first move, breaking No. 3 seed Joshua Chui in the second game to stake himself a quick-fire 2-0 lead. However, Chui responded immediately and broke Wong’s next two service games to take a 3-2 advantage, but Wong put up a strong fight, took advantage of a pair of untimely double faults from his opponent, and broke back again to force a 3-3 stalemate. In the crucial seventh game, Chui broke the sixth seed to love and eventually served out the set 5-3 after Wong had initially saved a set point with Chui up 40-15. Wong did well to ward off a break point at the start of the second but once Chui broke through to establish a 1-0 lead, there was no way back, not today, as the No. 3 seed ran away with the match, 5-3, 4-0.
Congrats to all the players for putting up a good show at the Nissin Hong Kong National Junior Tennis Championships 2022, but remember, you’ve got to be in it to win it. So, bring your A game and see you again soon at next year’s championships!
Nissin Hong Kong National Junior Tennis Championships 2022
Victoria Park, Causeway Bay
Etienne Lee d. (4)Wang Sui Lun 6-2 6-1
(1)Chloris Li d. (q)Elaine Lu 6-0 6-1
(4)Walter Tam d. Li Ho Wan 6-2 6-2
(1)Rosalyn Chan d. (4)Vienna Lai 3-6 6-1 6-1
(3)Jacker Cheung d. (1)Walter Tam 6-1 6-3
(1)Rosalyn Chan d. (2)Celeste Yeh 6-2 6-1
(1)Kyle Wan d. (6)Jaden Chui 6-3 5-7 6-2
Ofelia Leitner d. (7)Sze Lok Ching 6-0 6-0
(3)Joshua Chui d. (6)Wong Him 5-3 4-0
(1)Hui Hoi Hei d. Uliana Gladkikh 4-2 4-0