It’s only her first year playing collegiate tennis, yet Wesleyan newcomer Eudice Chong ’18 is already having a season to remember. Chong has not lost a dual match all season, carrying an undefeated record of 8-0 into this Sunday’s matchup against Amherst. She has displayed similar talent in doubles, compiling a record of 8-2 over the course of the spring season. Chong has not only been dominant stateside, however. At just 18 years of age, the Wes first-year was chosen to represent her home nation of Hong Kong in the 2014 Asian Games, where she and her doubles partner earned four victories and made it to the round of 16. In light of her impressive year, The Argus sat down with Chong to discuss her once-in-a-lifetime experience overseas and hopes for the rest of the season.
The Argus: When did you first start playing tennis? What appealed to you about the sport when you first started?
Eudice Chong: I first picked up a racket at age two, and I started taking lessons when I turned six. I didn’t really take tennis seriously until around 11, because until that age I did a lot of swimming as well. Eventually, I just switched to tennis permanently because I found swimming pretty boring. I started to really enjoy the sport when I began participating in camps, mostly because I got a lot of individual attention and made a lot of great friends.
A: What was it like to grow up playing tennis in Hong Kong? How, if at all, was it different from your experience here in the United States?
EC: It’s difficult to compare junior tennis to college play, but I’d say the biggest difference between playing in Hong Kong and playing here is that I got to travel a lot more when I played juniors, mostly because there are less competitive players in Hong Kong so I would have to travel pretty far to get to competitions.
A: As a potential Division I recruit, what drew you to a smaller liberal arts school like Wesleyan?
EC: Truthfully, I didn’t consider many Division I schools when making my college decision. I knew coming in that I wanted to focus more on academics and less on tennis if possible, because I wanted a real college experience that didn’t revolve entirely around sports. I also felt like I really clicked with Coach Mike Fried and the rest of the team when I visited, so it ended up being a relatively easy decision for me to commit.
A: At just 18 years old, you got the chance to represent Hong Kong in the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea. What was that experience like?
EC: It was an amazing experience. I’ve gotten the chance to play for Hong Kong several times before, but never on this big of a stage. Playing alongside professional tennis players felt pretty surreal, and I made some great friends throughout the competition.
A: Looking back on this season so far, what has been your favorite or most satisfying moment to date?
EC: I really enjoyed traveling to California with the team over spring break. We all worked tremendously hard, got some great wins, and definitely carried that momentum into the rest of this season. I also really enjoy celebrating victories with the rest of the team.
A: What are your hopes for the rest of the season, both individually and as a team?
EC: First and foremost, our goal is to reach NESCACs, something we as a team have never done. Individually, it would be nice to qualify for NCAAs, but as of right now, I’m definitely more invested in helping our team reach postseason play.
Chong and the rest of women’s tennis team will resume play this Sunday, April 19, when the Cards will play host to Amherst. Wes will look to spoil the Lord Jeffs’ perfect 4-0 mark in the NESCAC and elevate their own 3-2 conference mark.