Fans Celebrate Return of ATP Tour Tournament on Opening Day of Main Draw at Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open
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Fans welcomed BOCHKTO 2024 with an opening day sellout. (Photo: BOCHKTO 2024)
Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open 2024 Opening Ceremony. (Photo: BOCHKTO 2024)
ATP Stars enjoy the fireworks over the Hong Kong Harbour on New Year’s Eve. (Photo: BOCHKTO 2024)
HONG KONG--(Business Wire / Korea Newswire)--The fans turned out en masse to welcome the return of ATP Tour tennis to Hong Kong for the first time in decades at the Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open 2024 with opening day tickets to the Victoria Park Tennis Stadium all sold out by the early afternoon.
An opening ceremony featuring traditional Hong Kong cultural performances was officiated by Mr Kevin Yeung, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Hong Kong Government; Mr Raymond Chan, General Manager, Event and Product Development of the Hong Kong Tourism Board; Mr Stephen Chan, Deputy Chief Executive of Bank of China Hong Kong; ATP Supervisor Roland Herfel; ATP Tour Manager Denis Zivcovic; and Tournament Director Luiz Carvalho as well as Michael Cheng, President of the Hong Kong, China Tennis Association.
After a spectacular fireworks show on New Year’s Eve, the players brought their own pyrotechnics to Centre Court today with rising China star Shang Juncheng recording the biggest win of his young career after outlasting Serbia’s Laslo Djere on Centre Court in a threeplus hour marathon opening match, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6.
Next up Shang will play World No.50, The Netherlands’ Botic Van De Zandschulp in his next outing after the 28-year old Dutchman beat Japan’s Shintaro Mochizuki 7-5, 6-1.
“In terms of ranking and feeling both it is the best win of my careers so far,” said Shang post-match.
“I had a pretty rough 2023 and coming into 2024 with a good win, I’m just really happy to be here and excited about what is next. Djere is 33 in the rankings so it is an amazing win. The biggest of my career. Hopefully I can do some good things this year.
Shang expressed his delight at playing once again in China saying, “It’s really special. There are so many fans coming to support me and my family is here as well - that means the world. I have always enjoyed coming back home. It’s special to play here. It’s special to have amazing fans and to just enjoy the court,” he said.
In other Round of 32 action, Pavel Kotov defeated Nuno Borges 6-2, 6-4; Emil Ruusuvuori defeated Benjamin Bonzi 6-7, 6-2, 6-1.
Second Round Qualifying saw Japan’s Taro Daniel outlast Britain’s Jan Choinski 6-4, 3-6, 6-4; Liam Broady defeated Roman Andres Burruchaga 6-2, 6-3; Vityaly Satchko defeated Terence Atmane 7-6, 6-1 and Marc-Andrea Huesler beat Otto Virtanen 6-2, 6-0.
Hong Kong No.1 Coleman Wong closed out a fantastic day with his first performance at the Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open 2024, his first ever ATP-level tournament, pairing with Belgian Zizou Bergs in a tough doubles match that didn’t begin until after 9.30pm against two of the tournament’s top singles seeds Andrey Rublev (World No.5) and Karen Khachanov (World No.15).
It was a tough opener for Wong and Bergs, as they lost in straight sets in a crowd pleasing match to the reigning fan favourite doubles act on the ATP Tour, 6-2, 6-4.
Wong spoke about the experience of playing in an ATP Tournament for the first time at home saying, “I’m very thankful for the fans to come out and support me even though it was so late.
“It was really special to be able to play out there tonight, I was so happy and excited to play in this game. I have had a taste of it out there and now have some good momentum from that game that will help me in my singles match tomorrow,” said the 19-year-old Hong Kong No.1 who learned his tennis on the same courts as a child.
Wong will be back on Centre Court Tuesday night to face off with Italian next gen star Lorenzo Musetti, ranked World No.27.
Photo Story :
ATP Stars (l to r): Sadio Doumbia, Paul Cayre, Fabien Reboul, Aziz Dougaz, Benjamin Bonzi and Mackenzie McDonald enjoy the fireworks over the Hong Kong Harbour on New Year’s Eve. They and other stars of the Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open 2024 will be providing fireworks of their own this week at Victoria Park Tennis Stadium (31/12 - 1/7).
Doubles delight: A resoundingly successful opening day of the Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open 2024 finished with an entertaining doubles match featuring tournament top seeds World No.5 Andrey Rublev and World No. 15 Karen Khachanov against Hong Kong No.1 Coleman Wong and Belgium’s Zizou Bergs. Rublev and Khachanov were voted the fan favourite Doubles act on the ATP Tour in 2023.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240101385095/en/
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