VICTOR Hong Kong Open continued with round of 16 matches at the Coliseum in Hung Hom on Thursday. In the mixed doubles, Hong Kong pair Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet came back from behind to beat sixth seeds Rehan Naufal Kusharjanto/Lisa Ayu Kusumawati of Indonesia 2-1 and reached the quarterfinals; women’s doubles pair Ng Wing Yung/Lui Lok Lok lost to the fifth seeds. In the men’s singles, both Lee Cheuk Yiu and Jason Ganawan were eliminated. Lee lost to fifth seed Jonatan Christie in straight games while Jason was beaten by Rasmus Gemke of Denmark 2-1.
Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet
Now ranked 32nd in the world, Tang and Tse, who prevailed over compatriots Reginald Lee Chun Hei and Ng Tsz Yau after three games in the previous round, faced the Indonesian pair whom they beat in all their three previous occasions. Playing for the first at the home ground in four years, the home pair came close to beating the visitors in the first game. They came back from 14-17 down to score five successive points to go regain a 19-17 lead but found it difficult to go further before losing 22-20 after deuce.
But the home pair was more aggressive in the second game, taking the first four points in a row and building up a lead that the opponents could not recover before they won 21-14. They continued their domination in the deciding game. After 8-all in the opening period, they pulled away and took the last seven points to win 21-10.
Tang/Tse, however, will face a daunting task in the quarterfinals, taking on second seeds Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue of France. They will start as the third match in the evening session which begins at 6.30pm and are expected to begin at 8:10pm.
Tse said they played against the same Indonesian pair a couple of times over the last two months and knew the opponents were very fast on the court which they found it difficult to handle. But they were able to hang in there and stayed in contention throughout the match.
“We know we may find it difficult against them but are still confident we could handle the situation even if we had lost the first game,” she said. “We also needed to spend three games to beat them before and therefore after making some adjustments tonight, we came back to beat them again.”
The pair became the only home players that reached the quarterfinal, but Tang said there would not be any pressure. “We had a slow start in our first two matches and we hope we can improve and bring a good result for the team.”
Both players treasured the opportunity of playing in Hong Kong and also thanked the support of the fans.
（Ng Wing Yung/Lui Lok Lok
In the women’s doubles, Ng/Lui lost the first game 21-12 to fifth seeds Benyapa Aimsaard and Nuntakarn Aimsaard of Thailand before pulling one back 21-16 to level the overall score. But they could not extend their feat to the third after losing 21-13 and the match.
Despite the result, both Ng and Lui remained upbeat in the upcoming Asian Games, saying, “We have proved we can play against players with a higher ranking and force the match into three games. This will definitely boost our hopes when we meet stronger players again in future,” said Ng, who will be playing with her partner Lui for the first time in the Asian Games and want to achieve a major breakthrough in their career.
Lee Cheuk Yiu
Two Hong Kong men’s singles players started in the round of 16 but both lost. Defending champion Lee was beaten by Jonatan Christie of Indonesia, the 2018 Asian Games champion, in straight games 21-18, 21-16; Youngster Jason forced Gemke to three games before losing 21-7, 15-21, 21-13 after 81 minutes.
Jason said the Danes used speed to suppress him in the first game as he had to spend a lot of stamina to deal with Gemke in the second and won. But then he was running of energy in the third to go further.
“This is the first time I play in a high level competition and have gained a lot of confidence by reaching the last 16,” the 19-year-old said. “Even if I meet players who have a much higher ranking in future, I won’t be scared.”