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Back for the first time since 2018, this year’s 10-man field will feature five top 100 doubles players – Yuki Bhambri, JP Smith, Vijay Sundar Prashanth, Andrew Harris, Saketh Myneni – as well as Hong Kong’s very own, Coleman Wong, who will partner Chinese Taipei’s Jason Jung, the reigning Hangzhou Asian Games men’s doubles champion.   Set for the weekend of December 9-10 at the CBGCC Indoor Tennis Courts, players will be competing for a total prize purse worth half a million Hong Kong dollars.

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The pairings:

JP Smith/Andrew Harris
Yuki Bhambri/Ramkumar Ramanathan
Saketh Myneni/Vijay Sundar
Jason Jung/Coleman Wong
Huang Tsung-Hao/Yi Chu-Huan

Dec 9 – Round Robins

One group of five pairs will play a round robin.  Matches will be of two “4-game sets” and a 7-point tiebreak at 3-3 games all.  Sudden death deuce.  If the match is tied at 1-1 set all, a 10-point super-tiebreak will decide the outcome.  The top 4 pairs will progress to the knockout stage.

Dec 10 – Semis and final

Each match is best of two regular tiebreak sets, LONG deuce.  If the match is tied at 1-1 set all, a 10-point super-tiebreak will decide the outcome.

The field

At No. 62, Yuki Bhambri is the highest-ranked doubles player in this year’s field.  Once ranked as high as No. 83 in singles five years ago, Bhambri is having the best season as a doubles player after he claimed his maiden ATP Tour title at Mallorca in addition to claiming three Challengers.  He reached a career-high No. 58 back in June.  Yuki Bhambri and Rohan Bopanna were the top seed at this year’s Asian Games but they got bundled out in the opening round by Uzbekistan’s Sergey Fomin and Khumoyun Sultanov 2-6 6-3 [10-6].  In his career, he has won twenty doubles titles – one ATP, fourteen Challengers, and five Futures.  Bhambri is also a former junior world No. 1.

At No. 78, JP Smith is the second highest-ranked player in the field.  In 2023, he reached eight Challenger Finals, winning at Charlottesville and Champaign.  In his career, he has reached five ATP Tour men’s doubles finals, winning in Atlanta in 2018.  His best result at a major was quarterfinals at the Aussie and US Opens. Over the past 10 years, Smith has finished in the top 100 on the ATP Year-End doubles rankings eight times.  In doubles, he has amassed 30 Challenger and 6 ITF Futures titles.  He was also a runner-up in mixed doubles at the Australian Open in 2019.   He played college tennis at Tennessee and reached the NCAA No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles.  He was twice runner-up in doubles at the NCAA Championships.  In 2004, he captured the boys’ doubles title at the ITF Grade 4 Hong Kong Open Junior Championships.

ATP Rankings (27 Nov 2023)    
 Singles Doubles 
Jason Jung243114598185
Coleman Wong282282937564
Yuki Bhambri1170836258
JP Smith14871087852
Vijay Sundar3358383
Andrew Harris1599584
Saketh Myneni1379874
Ramkumar Ramanathan63811117758
Huang Tsung-Hao596521344344
Yi Chu-Huan489109

Saketh Myneni should be no stranger to Hong Kong fans, as he won Clearwater Bay in 2016 and was twice a losing finalist in 2014 and 2017.  He was a gold medalist in mixed doubles and a silver medalist in men’s doubles at the Incheon Asian Games in 2014 and Hangzhou Asian Games in 2022.  In career doubles, he has won sixteen Challenger and eighteen ITF Futures titles.  Myneni was an All-SEC First Team selection at the University of Alabama in 2009.

Andrew Harris captured three Challenger titles with three different partners this year and reached a career-high ATP ranking No. 84 earlier in October.  In 2023, he teamed up with JP Smith to reach Challenger finals at Malaga, Gwangju, and Canberra.  Last year, they collaborated to capture the Matsuyama Challenger.  Harris was an all-American at the University of Oklahoma, winning the 2017 NCAA Doubles Championship and finished that season ranked No. 1.  As a junior, he partnered Nick Kyrgios to capture the boys’ doubles titles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2012.

Ramkumar Ramanathan won a couple of ATP Tour doubles titles last season at Adelaide and Pune, partnering Rohan Bopanna.  He was ranked as high as No. 58 in October 2022.  In his career, he has captured seven Challenger and sixteen ITF Futures titles.

Vijay Sundar reached seven Challenger doubles finals this year, winning at Vicenza, Les Franqueses del Valles, and Pune.  He has also accumulated 21 ITF Futures titles.  He is currently ranked at a career-best No. 83.

Earlier this year, Huang Tsung-Hao won the gold medal in men’s doubles at the 31st FISU World University Games in Chengdu and was a silver medalist in mixed doubles at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

At No. 243, Jason Jung is the highest-ranked singles player in this year’s tournament.  JJ has beaten the likes of No. 29 Frances Tiafoe, No. 40 Riley Opelka, and No. 47 Kyle Edmond. Jung writes a blog where he shares his trials and tribulations on tour, a must-read for tennis fans.

After a 2016 season in which he won Challenger titles in Maui and Bangkok, Jung reached a ranking high of No. 185 in doubles.  He has also won seven Futures titles in doubles, including the Hong Kong F1 in 2012.  Since then, his primary focus has been singles with four career Challengers and four Futures titles that saw him peak at No. 114 in 2018.  That said, he did team up with Hsu Yu-Hsiou to capture the gold medal in men’s doubles at this year’s Hangzhou Asian Games where they beat Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4 6-4 in the final.

Although Coleman Wong has won boys’ doubles titles at the Junior Grand Slams and also a couple of men’s doubles titles on the ITF Futures circuit early on in his career, singles has always remained a priority for him, especially when considering his results this season.  He became the first player from Hong Kong to win a US$15,000 and US$25,000 Futures titles in singles, first to reach the finals at the Challenger level (Luohu and Playford), and the first to beat an ATP top 100 opponent, which he did against Wu Yibing, Thanasi Kokkinakis, and Taro Daniel.  He was just shy of an historic medal in men’s singles at the Hangzhou Asian Games when he led Korean 8th seed Hong Seongchan by a set and a break in the quarterfinals.  Starting the year at No. 744 on January 2, he is currently ranked at a career-best No. 282, the highest by a homegrown player in the history of Hong Kong men’s tennis in the Open Era.

Yi Chu-Huan is a left-handed former world doubles No. 109.  He has amassed eight Challenger and 27 ITF Futures doubles titles in in his career.  

The members of the last team to win at CWB – Joe Salisbury/Jonny O’Mara – have taken vastly different routes since beating Jonathan Marray/Andrew Whittington 6-3 6-7(6) [10-5] in the 2018 final.  Even though O’Mara went on to reach a new career-high No. 44 the following year, and then captured his third career doubles title at the ATP 250 Sofia Open in 2020, he is now down to No. 172.

Salisbury, on the other hand, has made quite a mark at the highest of levels since finishing 2018 ranked No. 30 in the world.  With regular partner Rajeev Ram, Salisbury has since 2019, won three US Opens, an Australian Open, three Masters 1000s, two ATP Finals, two ATP 500s, and two ATP 250s.  He reached the No. 1 world ranking in April 2020 and held it for 23 consecutive weeks.  Interestingly, as a young player coming up, he never held an ITF Junior World Ranking, as he hardly played at all due to mononucleosis and injuries.  It was not until he started playing college tennis at the University of Memphis from 2011-2014 that really brought his game to the fore.  He reached a high of No. 3 in the NCAA D1 men’s doubles rankings.

Prize money at Clearwater Bay has increased significantly over the years.  The winning pair of the inaugural event in 2003 was worth $15,000.  Two decades later today, the prize money distribution is as follows (HKD):

Winner $240,000
Finalist $120,000
3rd Place $100,000
4th Place $60,000
Round Robins $20,000

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