Tennis ace reaches third round

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 January, 2008, 12:00am

Justin To impresses at the Junior Orange Bowl Tennis Championships in Miami

Justin To was the only Asian player to get into the third round at the 46th Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships in Miami, Florida last month.

Unfortunately, his run of success ended when he was beaten by Mexican Luis Patino and failed to get a place in the quarter finals.

To, seeded 17, advanced to round two after he defeated Danish qualifier Christian Brockstedt in straight sets in his opening match.

His opponent was Dutch junior Steffen Hart, a very solid baseline player with a powerful forehand. To countered by hitting high backhand rolls at his opponent, mixed with occasional flat shots and slices, which disrupted the Dutchman's rhythm as much as possible.

'In the second set I started off very strong, and was up 2-0, when he started to run around everything. He hardly missed a shot and that really put me on the back foot. He broke my serve twice to lead 3-2. I knew I had to do something different. So I decided to use more of an angled forehand to drag him out wide and then hitting back to his backhand and work from there,' To explained.

'But every time I got him out wide, he managed to drill it back crosscourt really low and hard. Instead of going for broke down the line, I had to cross it back to be on the safe side, and the points just went on and on and on. Luckily, I took my chance and broke him back for 3-3.' To finally managed to dispose of Hart in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.

His opponent in the third round was Luis Patino. Unfortunately, he was beaten by the Mexican junior 6-3, 7-5. Patino had previously eliminated second seed Vitor Galvao of Brazil, 6-2, 6-2.

Other players from Hong Kong competing in Miami included Carina Chen, Kevin Wong, Robin Nguy, and James Kong. However, To was the only player from Asia able to make it into the second round.

Although Kevin Wong was defeated in the opening round of , he continued his giant-slaying ways in the consolation tournament. He won six consecutive matches, including three in succession against seeded players, to reach the ast eight.

Both players return to Hong Kong with results they can be proud of.

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