I want to be the best tennis player in the world, says star in the making Coleman Wong
- Standing 1.88m tall at just 14, the DBS student is well on his way to becoming the best men’s player Hong Kong has ever produced
- Represented by the International Management Group, the recent Junior Orange Bowl winner will compete in next month’s Junior Australian Open
Coleman Wong Chak-lam looks well on his way to becoming the best men’s tennis player Hong Kong has ever produced – but his ambition doesn’t stop there.
“I want to be the best player in the world someday,” said the 14-year-old Diocesan Boys’ School student, who hopes to be winning grand slams when he is in his 20s. “I think I’ve started right, but there’s still a long way to go. I think that if I keep believing and working hard, that is definitely my goal. To be the best, and have my country proud of me.”
Wong has credentials to back up his claims that he could one day mix it with the bestafter becoming the first Hongkonger to win the under-14 title at the Junior Orange Bowl – one of the most prestigious junior tournaments in the world – last week. The tournaments past winners include his idol Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, and Juan Martin del Potro.
He is also sponsored by Nike and is represented by the International Management Group – one of the most prestigious sports talent agencies in the world – at an incredibly young age. But Wong told the Postat Victoria Park on Thursday that he doesn’t mind the extra media attention.
“I feel happy about it, it gives me great power,” he said. “It gives me extra motivation and makes me want to play even better. It also shows that my hard work is paying off.”
Wong’s triumphant victory in Florida came through fighting adversity, as he found himself down a match point against America Sebastian Gornzy in the quarter-finals. He dug deep and won the next three points for a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6, (8-6) victory.
“That was the most exciting match of my life, and it showed me that my mental game is really strong,” said Wong, who will compete at the Junior Australian Open in January. “The thing about me is I really don’t want to lose. I really hate losing. So, I will never ever give up and I think that’s why I believe in myself and why I think I can become really good.”
Physically, Wong is also one of the greatest prospects Hong Kong has ever seen, at 1.88m tall and he is still growing.
“I feel much faster and stronger than before and I feel much more powerful than last year.”
Wong has been lauded for his powerful and accurate forehand, but he insists he is “a very well-rounded player.”
“I’m similarly good at everything – forehand, backhand, defence, but I think my mental game is better than other players my age. Some days you aren’t going to be playing your best, your 100 per cent, but if you have a strong mental game, you can win even on those days.”
Although he looks up to Federer, Wong said his game more closely resembles that of Argentine great del Potro.
“We are both really huge guys and we just love to smack the ball,” he said.
Wong has yet to decide whether he will turn professional after finishing secondary school in DBS, or whether he will play tennis at a US university.
One thing is for certain, though; if he continues to get these kinds of results, the world, not just Hong Kong, will have to be on the lookout.