Party in the park: Hong Kong manager expects to celebrate victory over visitors Iran in Davis Cup meeting this weekend
Young team enter best-of-five tie with hopes to dominate in the doubles on centre court at Victoria Park
Long serving team manager David Ho Wai-tak is expecting party time on Sunday with a bunch of young guns as Hong Kong take on Iran in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone group II.
“We can celebrate, hopefully the party will come just after the first three matches in the best-of-five tie,” said the experienced official, who has been with the team for over three decades.
“Not only because we have gone through some extensive preparation for the tie, we are also able to field a talented side with the oldest member at just 24.
“More importantly, these young fellows are all eager to play for Hong Kong in this team competition, not like the old days when we have to beg the players for their participation.”
The two-day event starts at the Victoria Park’s centre court on Saturday with two singles ties before going into the doubles and the two reverse singles the following day.
The doubles will be the stronghold for the hosts, with Kevin Wong Chun-hun a double bronze medallist at last year’s World University Games in Taiwan (with Brian Yeung Pak-long) and the Asian Indoor Games in Turkmenistan (with Jack Wong Hong-kit).
Yeung and Jack Wong are also in the six-member squad, which also features Jackie Tang – who flew back from the United States on Tuesday from his studies at Columbia University – alongside Ng Ki-lung and Skyler Butts.
Kevin Wong, who completed his studies at the University of Michigan last year, has a 5-1 winning record in the Davis Cup, all in the doubles.
“It’s important to have a secure doubles as we can either help wrap the tie up with a 3-0 overall score or extend it to the two reverse singles,” said Wong, who reached a career high NCAA ranking of four in doubles and 50th in singles while playing for his university.
“We are ready for the challenge after playing a couple of Futures tournaments in Hong Kong and spending a four-week training stint at the Sports Institute prior to the event.”
A victory over the Iran team will put Hong Kong into the semi-finals of the group with Taiwan the possible next hurdle but non-playing captain Yu Hiu-tung, also a Davis Cup veteran having played a record 24 times for Hong Kong, does not want to think about that too much at this stage.
“On paper we are stronger than Iran but we must make it happen on Sunday, then we can start thinking about the next game,” he said. “Hong Kong has not been in group I for many years and it always remains our target.”
Hong Kong was in group 1 on four occasions, in 1989 and from 1993-95.