Shang Storms To Semifinals Of Hong Kong Tennis Open

Junsheng Shang (photo: Tennis Photo Network)

HONG KONG, January 5, 2023 (Press Release)

The Singles quarterfinals took centre stage – and Centre Court – by storm at the Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open 2024 Friday at the Victoria Park Tennis Stadium.   

Rising China star Shang Juncheng continued his career best performance in Hong Kong beating World No. 16 Frances Tiafoe to reach the semifinal against tournament top seed and World No. 5 Andrey Rublev. In the first semifinal tomorrow Emil Ruusuvuori will face Sebastian Ofner.  

Ruusuvuori kept his deep run in the tournament going, beating Pavel Kotov, 6-3, 7-6(4) in their first ATP Tour level meeting. It is Ruusuvuori’s eighth ATP Tour semifinal appearance.  

He will face Austria’s Ofner in the semifinal after Ofner beat Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in the other quarterfinal, 6-4, 6-4.  

Fan favourite Shang was fearless in his quarterfinal with Tiafoe, extending his career best run and beating his third top 50 player on the trot to reach his first ever ATP Tour semifinal with a straight sets win over the World No.16, 6-4, 6-4.

“It was a really tough match against Frances. I played him twice, I went down both times. Today was really a mindset change for me. Sometimes you just maybe have to respect the player a bit less. Obviously he is a top ten, amazing player, amazing person I wish him all the best for the rest of the season hopefully we can play each other more.”

Shang commented on where this win ranks in his young career saying, “From start to end I played with a very cool mind, a very good mindset, a very aggressive mindset. This is an amazing match. It’s probably one of the best in my career,” he said from Centre Court.

The final match of the day saw World No. 5 Rublev face off with the world’s highest ranked teenager in 19-year old Arthur Fils, ranked World No. 36 in the first meeting between the two.

Rublev won an entertaining three-set match, winning the first set 6-4, before having the tables turned 1-6 in the set. 

He bounced back superbly to close out the final set 6-2 and book his place in the semifinal against another talented teen in Shang Juncheng. 

“I was just trying to be positive to keep saying to myself, Arthur is playing really well and if he keeps playing the same way there is not much I can do when he served the way he is serving today,” Rublev said from Centre Court.

“I was just trying to be positive and in the end I was able to start well. He hit two double faults in a row and I think that was the turning moment, but he is playing really well. He is super tough at his age, he is super fast, and super powerful already. He will be a great player, I wish him all the best.”

Rublev will now play Shang Juncheng in tomorrow’s second semifinal as the two biggest fan favourites this week face off.

“Not much thoughts yet,” said Rublev on that encounter. 

“I know that he is another talented teenager playing the week of his life and beating really great players; playing free and confident, hitting the ball from both sides. We will see tomorrow, now is the time to rest.”

Belgian duo Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen booked their spot in Sunday’s Doubles final after beating Great Britain’s Julian Cash and USA’s Robert Galloway in the first semifinal, 7-6(6), 7-5. Tomorrow, Uruguay’s Ariel Behar and Czech Republic’s Adam Pavlasek will take on Austria’s Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler in the other semifinal.