We’re hungrier than ever for more success, says history-making Hong Kong pair Kevin Wong and Brian Yeung

The local doubles pair vow to try even harder after winning the city’s first-ever tennis medal at the World University Games

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 August, 2017, 8:34pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 August, 2017, 10:45pm

The history-making duo who secured Hong Kong’s first-ever tennis medal at the World University Games returned home hungrier for more success.

Kevin Wong Chun-hun and Brian Yeung Pak-long, both 21, won bronze in the men’s doubles after losing by a whisker to their Russian rivals in the semi-finals in Taipei last Sunday.

“I think we both wish it was a different coloured medal,” said Wong. “We performed so well in the semis. It came down to just one or two points that could have made it a different result.”

“Once we got into the semi-finals, we didn’t want to stop. We had to go for the gold at that point,” said Yeung.

Their bronze medal feat was all the more impressive since their partnership for the Games was a last-minute decision.

“The [original] plan was to have Kevin play with [Anthony Jackie Tang], but we decided to make a change based on experience. Brian had been playing some great doubles recently,” said coach Amine Boustani.

“I wasn’t worried; they had success in the past, reaching the quarter-finals of the previous University Games [in Kwangju, South Korea], so we knew they could achieve something like this.”

The chemistry between the duo had been brewing for years as both Wong and Yeung are Diocesan Boys School schoolmates and have watched each other develop in the national team.

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“We know how to interact on a deep level. We have been partners for so long, so we had the right strategy to diffuse any situation,” says Yeung. “It was more comforting to make that switch. I’m familiar with Brian’s game so I made fast adjustments on the doubles court,” said Wong.

Coach Boustani was surprised the women’s doubles duo of Eudice Chong and Katherine Ip did not garner another tennis medal for Hong Kong in Taipei.

“It was heartbreaking,” he said. “They have beaten much better teams – they defeated the number four seed in two straight sets – and were on their way. But it was just one of those days. I think nerves played a role and it kind of slipped away from them.”

Chong could not hide her disappointment. “Our goal was to get a medal. We came so close in the quarters, so that was a lot to deal with emotionally,” said the 21-year-old.

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“We started off really well, but after the first set, we got really nervous. This was one of the only matches we’ve ever felt this way.”

Ip, also 21, was disappointed a medal had slipped away. “It was a different feeling. We missed a break in the third set and started missing more,” she said, adding that she will try to make amends in next month’s indoor championships in Turkmenistan.