Overawed Hong Kong teenager Claudia Ng falls at first HK Tennis Open hurdle against mainland player Zhu Lin
The 16-year-old lost 6-0, 6-3 to China’s Zhu Lin in just under an hour in Saturday’s qualifier at Victoria Park
Hong Kong teenager Claudia Ng Hei-ching’s hopes of making the main draw at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open were dashed in the opening round of the qualifiers at Victoria Park on Saturday following a 6-0, 6-3 defeat by China’s Zhu Lin.
The youngster was aiming to make the first round of the competition proper, which begins on Monday when the top seeds join the action.
In the biggest match of her young career, 16-year-old Ng took a while to adapt to the environment on the main court and lost the first set without winning a game.
Ng moved into a 3-0 lead in the second set only for her more experienced opponent, the world number 148, to recover and wrap up the win in just under one hour.
“I think I could have played better,” said Ng. “I’m just not used to handling her fast shots and I think that my movement could have been better, because she made me run a lot.”
Ng, who won a bronze medal at the 1st National Youth Games in Fujian last October, had earlier said she would “faint from shock” if she progressed to meet one of the star names in the main tournament.
And it was clear the youngster was struggling to control her nerves at the beginning of the match.
“I just need to get used to the environment,” she said. “At the start I was so nervous because there were so many people watching. I need to remember to keep my focus. My coach, family, even my classmates and teachers came.
“I’m really happy they came, but there were so many people. They clapped for me and my opponent and it was quite distracting.”
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Three other Hong Kong players are in action on Saturday looking to make the first round of the Open with Cody Wong Hong-yi, Eudice Chong, and Katherine Ip aiming to progress to Sunday’s final round of qualifiers.