Day TWO, Round TWO, top seeds tumbled in dramatic ending
Massive shocks to end Day Two at HKFC
The second day of play in the HKFC International saw the seeded players enter the fray, against yesterday’s first round winners.
The schedule – on two courts – had Hong Kong’s top seeds at the end of the day, and while there were some seeding upsets along the way, the best was saved for last with a trio of massive upsets to finish the day.
In the women’s matches the only early seeding upset saw Australia’s Donna Lobban beat seventh-seeded Ho Tze-Lok in straight games, paving the way for the top two seeds to finish off the round.
Second seed Joey Chan was stunned by a first-ever loss to compatriot Vanessa Chu who, to be fair makes a habit of producing upsets at this tournament. The match went one way then the other, Vanessa taking a 6-2 lead in the fifth and finishing it off convincingly 11-5.
“It’s the first time I’ve beaten Joey in three attempts,” said a delighted Vanessa. “I served out at game ball in the fourth, I thought I’d lost it, but I took that and played well in the fifth. I’m so happy to reach the quarters here!”
Top seed and defending champion Annie Au completed proceedings with an efficient win over Anna Serme, and she meets Lobban in the quarters while Chu takes on fifth seeded Canadian Danielle Letourneau, who survived in five games against Egypt’s Salma Youssef.
As with the women it was the top two seeds on last, and second seeded Leo Au, the 2017 champion, started well enough against compatriot Tsz Kwan Lau, taking a good lead in the first.
But Lau fought back, sneaked the first and held off Leo’s comeback after an 8-0 start to the second. The third went point for point but with Leo looking tired, ‘Alex’ hung in and delightedly clinched the match on his second match ball.
“That’s the first time I’ve beaten Leo,” said HKFC player Alex. “I gained confidence from winning the first, but I’m so happy I managed to close out the third, it was really tense.
“This is the biggest quarter-final I’ve made, looking forward to tomorrow!”
As if that wasn’t enopugh, the biggest upset was saved for last as Switzerland’s World #65 Dimitri Steinmann beat top seed and three-time champion Max Lee in a tense five game battle, at 73 minutes the longest match of the tournament.
“I had a close match with Max at the Grasshopper, so I knew what I needed to do.” said Dimitri. “I started well, at pace, but he adapted and I couldn’t stop him coming back even though I tried to slow it down. I knew I had to find a middle ground and I did, I became more confident as the match went on.
“It was my best performance by far, my best win by far, and a finishing nick that Nici Mueller would be proud of!”
Quarter-finals – with the men’s draw missing the top two seeds, who contested last year’s final -start at 16.30 on Thursday, again on two courts.