Young champs battle it out at Victoria Park
After a year of hard work for players and referees, the Hong Kong Junior Tennis Series 2010 came to an end at Victoria Park Tennis Centre Court on Saturday.
All the young winners in the Grand Masters gathered at the court after the last match of the year-end tournament saw Hong Kong's Jonathan Cho Hyun-duk beat Janik Burri from the Swiss German School 6-3, 6-1 in the under 18 boys' singles within an hour.
The Grand Masters is the last leg of the series. Only the best players in the previous six competitions held throughout the year are invited to compete to become a 'champion of champions'.
National Squad player Jonathan survived a scary semi-final against Vincent Chau Kwan-lam, winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, ahead of his match with Janik on Saturday.
'It was a promising win and it's great to claim my first title,' said Jonathan. 'Although other National Squad teammates were not playing in this tournament, it was still hard for me to stay on top as all the other players have done well in previous series competitions this year.'
Jonathan also had to contend with GCSE exams and had no time to play as many competitions as other players normally do.
Now he is keen to make up for lost time. 'I was a semi-finalist in this year's ITF Junior Tournament so this will encourage me to do even better when the ITF returns in January.'
This is also the last juniors tournament for Vincent, who will be too old for the series next year. Despite his singles loss, he claimed his first and last Grand Masters title when he partnered earlier with Vincent Yau Long-fung in the under 18 boys' doubles. 'This is a meaningful ending for me,' said Vincent. 'Last year I was the runner-up in the singles, and I let the opportunities slip by when I played Jonathan. Luckily I had already won the doubles title with Vincent Yau before the match.'
Meanwhile, first seed under 18 girls' singles Vivian Lin Wing-man beat reigning CRC Open champion Eudice Chong 6-2, 0-6, 6-2 in a match lasting almost three hours. She also won the under 18 girls' doubles with Leung Lok-sze. 'It is the first time I've won both singles and doubles titles in a Grand Masters,' said Vivian.
'I did quite well in 2010 when I won my maiden ITF title in the girls' doubles at the Hong Kong Junior Open. I didn't play tennis for a while because of exams this month. Eudice was playing very good strokes in the second set which made me feel I was in trouble.'
Vivian also revealed that she will travel to Japan to train and compete for a week or two during Christmas holidays. 'Mum promised me that she will extend my stay to a month if I can win a singles match,' she said. 'That's a big incentive to stay focused.'
The Hong Kong Tennis Association also awarded the John Hui Cup (Boys) and the Jacklyn Fu Plate (Girls) Sportsmanship Awards to Michael Tam Ching-yeung and Riyo Tomita in recognition of their manners on court.
Kevin is a Young Post intern