Hakka People

Hunt on for new venue

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 February, 2008, 12:00am

Officials will need to look for a new venue to host Hong Kong's Davis Cup tie against Lebanon in April, with Victoria Park being closed for renovation.

After being beaten 3-1 by Indonesia in Jakarta at the weekend, Hong Kong were condemned to a play-off tie in Asia-Oceania Zone group two against Lebanon rather than meeting China in the semi-finals in Beijing.

'We had hoped we could beat Indonesia and qualify for the next round where we would have played China in Beijing,' said Martin Sayer, the only success story against Indonesia.

Sayer won his opening singles match 3-0 against Elbert Sie, but Hong Kong then buckled under the pressure with Goran Bosalevski losing the second opening singles 3-0, the doubles pair of Yu Hiu-tung and Michael Lai Xiaopeng losing 3-1, followed by Yu losing the first reverse singles 3-2.

'When Yu levelled the score at 2-2, we had hopes that he could pull if off. But sadly that didn't happen,' said Janet Hardisty, executive director of the Hong Kong Tennis Association.

Lai defeated Indonesian Ayrton Wibowo 2-1 in the last dead-rubber singles for the official scoreline to read 3-2 in favour of Indonesia, who will now travel to Beijing in April for the semi-final tie against China.

'If we had won, we would have travelled to Beijing. Now we need to find a new venue to host Lebanon as Victoria Park is closed for refurbishment,' Hardisty said.

The defeat by Indonesia - Hong Kong have never beaten them in four meetings - means Hong Kong will have to beat Lebanon in the April 11-13 tie to stay in group two for another year.