2018 Finals : Max and Annie deliver home double
Annie and Max deliver HKFC Hong Kong Double
Finals day at the Queclink HKFC International saw three Hong Kong players and a lone Egyptian vying for the title in the seventh edition of the Queclink HKFC International, and the packed home crowd was delighted to witness a home double as top seeds Annie Au and Max Lee triumphed, both in straight games.
Annie took on Egyptian teenager Hania El Hammamy for the first time, and immediately put her delicate skills and courtcraft to good use, taking a healthy 8-2 lead in the opening game. Hania fought back, but couldn’t quite close the gap as Annie took the lead.
The next two games followed a similar pattern – early leads for Annie and a late fightback by Hania, but even though Hania managed to get Annie into a number of rallies with both players hitting consistently hard shots – unusual for Annie – the Hong Kong number one closed out both games to claim her second HKFC title, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6.
“It’s a great feeling to play in my home town, and to put in a good performance in in front of my friends and family,” said Annie.
“I got a good start in all of the games and tried to keep the pressure on. It’s a great feeling to win this title again after losing in the semis the last two times, I hope I can carry this momentum into the coming up tournaments like the US Open and Qatar.”
The men’s final was an all-Hong Kong affair between top seed Max Lee and defending champion Leo Au. Max led the head to head 10-8, but Leo had won the last three – including the Asian Games final – and six of the last seven.
But from the outset it was Max in charge today, controlling most of the rallies and picking off winners when the opportunity presented itself, while nothing was seemingly going right for Leo – his drops and volley drops didn’t have their normal accuracy, and he was getting frustrated with some of the decisions he was getting from the referee.
Max led throughout all three games, and although Leo was getting closer game by game, and starting to drag Max into some of the long cat and mouse rallies that are his forte, today was Max’s day and in just over half an hour he was claiming the title for the third time 11-4, 11-5, 11-6.
“When Leo and I play it always depends on the conditioning of our bodies,” said Max, “and I had a rest after the Asian Games while Leo played in Pakistan.
“I think I played well today, and I’m happy to win in this club – I’m playing for them in the League so I have so many friends who make we welcome here and support me, and that gave me some more impetus to win.
“You always have good days and bad days in tournaments, but this was a good day!”