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TeamHK beats Zimbabwe to retain World Group II status


TeamHK beats Zimbabwe to retain World Group II status

Trailing by a break and 4-2 in the opening set, Coleman Wong and Kevin Wong strong-armed ten games on the trot to beat Zimbabwe’s Benjamin Lock and Courtney Lock 6-4 6-0 in Sunday’s crucial doubles to give Hong Kong, China an unassailable 3-0 lead. The team will now head to the World Group II first round in September.

Coleman Wong: “We played well today. Kevin was a big help. We have great chemistry. We also had great support from everyone. We managed to retain our Group II status, that’s what we set out to do, but to see so many fans here cheering us on, that gives us extra motivation. Hopefully, we can inspire more kids to pick up the sport.”

Kevin Wong: “I had a slow start but the crowd got me fired up and I was savouring the competition in no time, especially towards the end of the first set. I could feel my game coming together. The atmosphere was tremendous today. I’ve never seen this level of support in Davis Cup home ties before. As Coleman continues to rise, so will Hong Kong tennis.”

Captain Yu Hiu Tung: “Overall, I’m very happy with the way we performed. Once Jack Wong was able to pull off the win in his opening singles, I knew we had the upper hand. We didn’t start the way we wanted to in the doubles today, but once they got the break back, they were well on their way. A good win today that could potentially have gone much trickier.”

What had initially seemed a difficult tie on paper, the home nation’s players rose to the occasion in front of a strong turnout at Victoria Park Centre Court to produce a confident win. Earlier on Saturday, Jack Wong was faced with the daunting task of opening against world No. 348 Benjamin Lock, who has won 10 Futures titles in singles and another 45 in doubles, including four at the Challenger level. Lock was the ITF World Tennis Tour Player of the Month for May last year after he won back-to-back M15 titles in Addis Ababa, the first pro events to be held in Ethiopia.

The 6-foot-6 Harare native proved hard to break, as he lost just two points on serve in the first set. Although Wong did well to save 4 of 5 break points, the lone service game he conceded in the beginning of the set was enough to see Lock grab it 6-3. At 1-1 in the second set, Lock was threatening again but after Wong saved a break point to hold serve, he broke his opponent for the first time to go up 3-1. Then, Wong belted consecutive aces in the following game to consolidate for a 4-1 advantage. Serving for the set with a 5-3 lead in hand, Wong again had to dig deep to ward off another break point before he levelled proceedings at a set apiece.

In the third, the HK rep had his opponent down 15-40 in the opening game, but Lock saved both break points to hold for 1-0. The Zimbabwean No. 1 took advantage of a momentary opportunity and broke Wong to 15 the following game before he quickly consolidated for a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead. Then, at 4-1, and just two games away from defeat, Wong broke back and went on a three-game run to draw even at 4-4. Servers then dominated the remaining games to send matters to a tiebreak. After Wong produced the first mini-break to go up 3-1, the players then alternated point for point the rest of the way, with Lock saving a match point to get back to 6-5 before the HK rep, at ATP No. 1643, took the next point with a dipping backhand cross court pass to defy the rankings and beat the world’s 348th-ranked player 3-6 6-3 7-6(5).

Jack Wong: “Neither of us were playing at our best. It was a battle of wills that turned into a dogfight, but I found my way through the third, somehow.”

The ensuing singles between world No. 247 Coleman Wong and currently unranked Courtney Lock was a much one-sided affair, as the HK number one snatched nine games in a row from 3-2 in the first to bulldoze his way to a 6-2 6-0 victory in under an hour.

Down 15-40 in the opening game of the crucial doubles, Coleman Wong fired a pair of aces and won the next four points in a row to hold for 1-0. After a love hold, however, the Lock brothers broke Kevin Wong’s serve to go up 2-1. The HK pair broke back in the eighth game to force a 4-4 stalemate. Then, with a 5-4 lead in hand, Wong and Wong broke the Zimbabwe duo again to strong-arm the first set 6-4. Riding with the momentum, the floodgates opened for the HK pair, as they broke the Lock brothers’ ensuing three service games to runaway with a 6-4 6-0 tie-clinching win.

Hong Kong, China will join the 12 losing nations from the 2024 World Group I Play-offs and the other 11 winners of the World Group II Play-offs in World Group II in September this year. They are Barbados, Bolivia, Bulgaria, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, Georgia, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lebanon, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Romania, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Iran or Estonia.

Davis Cup World Group II Play-Off
Victoria Park Centre Court
February 3-4, 2024

Hong Kong, China defeated Zimbabwe 3-1

R1 Jack Wong (HKG) d. Benjamin Lock (ZIM) 3-6 6-3 7-6(5)
R2 Coleman Wong (HKG) d. Courtney Lock (ZIM) 6-2 6-0
R3 Coleman Wong/Kevin Wong (HKG) d. Benjamin Lock/Courtney Lock (ZIM) 6-4 6-0
R4 Benedict Badza (ZIM) d. Dasson Chan (HKG) 6-7(5) 6-4 [10-6]
R5 Not Played

Davis Cup Group II Relegation Playoffs – All-Time Record

2024Hong Kong, Chinad.Zimbabwe3-1
2020Polandd.Hong Kong, China4-0
2014Indonesiad.Hong Kong, China3-1
2012Sri Lankad.Hong Kong, China3-1
2011Hong Kong, Chinad.Syria4-1
2010Hong Kong, Chinad.Sri Lanka3-2
2009Hong Kong, Chinad.Oman5-0
2008Hong Kong, Chinad.Lebanon3-2
2007Hong Kong, Chinad.Iran3-2
2004Philippinesd.Hong Kong, China4-1
2002Hong Kong, Chinad.Malaysia5-0
2000Hong Kong, Chinad.Kazakhstan3-2
1998Philippinesd.Hong Kong, China4-1
1997Hong Kong, Chinad.Saudi Arabia4-1