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2021-09-20

HONG KONG PROMOTED TO 2022 WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

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HONG KONG PROMOTED TO 2022 WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

Hong Kong, China has earned promotion to the Davis Cup 2022 World Group II Play-Offs after defeating Jordan in this year’s Group III event held in Amman.  Fuelled by the singles play of teenager Coleman Wong and Playing-Captain Jack Wong, the team also registered good wins against Malaysia and Kuwait in the round robin stage earlier in the week to remain undefeated.

The youngest captain (playing or non-playing) in HKG Davis Cup history at age 23, Wong said minutes just after sealing the play-off victory: 「Another solid performance from Coleman. He was in command right from the start and left no doubt as to the outcome of his match.  I made the crucial breakthrough at 4-4 in my match and after I held for the first set, I was confident of a positive result from that point on. To lead the team as captain this time round has been a great experience for me.」

Against Malaysia in the opening round robin encounter, Coleman Wong saved all six break points he faced against Koay Hao Sheng, while breaking his opponent four times in all to win his first singles rubber, 6-3, 6-1.  Serving for the first leading 5-3, 30-30, Coleman was forced to save a pair of break points before holding on for the set.  After Koay held to lead 1-0 in the second, Coleman ran off with the next six games to complete an encouraging beginning.

Captaining the side for the first time in the Davis Cup, Jack Wong was unable to fire on all cylinders in the early going and yielded his serve in the sixth game when he squandered half a dozen game points from 40-0 up.  Syed Naguib rode with that momentum and took the first set 6-3.   Wong, however, came out of the changeover a changed man and immediately went on the attack to break serve to go up 3-0 to establish a lead he would never surrender, as he dictated play most of the way with rejuvenated consistency and timely forays to the net to win, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Against Kuwait on the second day, Coleman continued to dominate with strong serving and confident baseline play, breaking Abdulhamid Mubarak three times while never facing a break point on his own serve to win 6-4, 6-2.  Jack, meanwhile, broke Essa Qabazard twice to bag the first set 6-4 but a lackadaisical start saw him trail 0-3 in the second. Unfazed, he settled down to produce three successive service breaks to strong-arm six games on the trot for a 6-4, 6-3 victory to put the team into the play-off.

Coleman, who just managed to catch one of the last flights out of New York after winning this year’s US Open boys』 doubles title in order to rendezvous with his teammates at the eleventh hour half a world away, turned out to be the strongest No. 2 singles among all in Jordan this week.  However, Pacific Oceania’s No. 1 Colin Sinclair, who served 15 aces on his way to a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over Vietnam’s ATP No. 735 Ly Hoang Nam, was pushed all the way by Syria’s Kareem Al Allaf before winning their encounter, 7-5, 6-7(7), 6-4, at No. 1 singles to extend the tie to the deciding doubles, which turned out to be another nail-biter for POC, 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4.    Sinclair, a four-year letterman at Cornell (2014-17), reached a career-high ATP No. 410 in August 2019.  He captured his first pro circuit title at the M15 Claremont, USA, after finishing runner-up five times in Futures finals in Australia, Belgium, and Tunisia.

Results
Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group III
Amman, Jordan
September 15-18, 2021

Play-off
Hong Kong, China defeated Jordan 2-0
R1 Coleman Wong (HKG) d. Seif Adas (JOR) 6-2 6-1
R2 Jack Wong (HKG) d. Mousa Alkotop (JOR) 6-4 6-1
R3 Doubles not played

Pool A, Round Robin
Hong Kong, China defeated Kuwait 2-1
R1 Coleman Wong (HKG) d. Abdulhamid Mubarak (KUW) 6-4 6-2
R2 Jack Wong (HKG) d. Essa Qabazard (KUW) 6-4 6-3
R3 Essa Qabazard/Bader Alabdullah (KUW) d. Coleman Wong/Roger Ng (HKG) 6-3 7-5

Hong Kong, China defeated Malaysia 3-0
R1 Coleman Wong (HKG) d. Koay Hao Sheng (MAS) 6-3 6-1
R2 Jack Wong (HKG) d. Syed Naguib (MAS) 3-6 6-1 6-2
R3 Jack Wong/Coleman Wong (HKG) d. Imran Abd Hazli/Koay Hao Sheng (MAS) 6-3 6-4