Archive for August 31, 2009

Beijing Chaoyang 朝阳 tennis club in New York

Li Qiang their neat t-shirt

We hosted the Chaoyang Tennis Association 北京朝阳网球协会 from Beijing today at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club. Chaoyang is quasi governmental club, the players’ trip is paid for by the club or the government (not sure if I got this right..). The Sunday game was arranged by the USTA, United States Tennis Association. About week or two ago, USTA reached out to Bill, the 4.0 captain asking if any of the Chinese clubs/players would like to play with them .. so we got involved. USTA reserved and paid two courts at the Island fm 10-12 noon.

The arrangement leading up to the day was bit confusing. I have expressed interest to meet/play with the BJ team since, well they’re from my hometown. But I wasn’t on the list. When I questioned it, the organizer shot back a nasty e-mail to the group ..


can you tell any of these names are females?








Well, I haven’t seen this Beijing list before and now that I’ve seen it I couldn’t tell their gender .. but I did see the organizer put two our girls down for 2.5 .. hence I asked.

4 some

What did I ever do to this organizer to deserve being scolded in public? I don’t like the feel of it. Tennis is just a game, should be fun and enjoyable. Few in the group seem to have more spare time on hand, like to play sissy and politics. Can we all act like A MAN, have bit more tolerance? As if Irene wears pants here.

It’s just so amusing, few in the group likes to make a small match-fire into an inferno then come in as a hero or the problem solver, it doesn’t give the person more right to lay claim on this club. This club belongs to everyone. No one should try to stronghold it as a personal guild.

Then the last e-mail informing us that Beijing would only have 6 players on Sunday so our list scaled down to 6 players as well. I was not on the rotation. I understand. No problem. I just wished the organizer would mention if we could go to meet them regardless on the playing list. There was none.

The night before, one of the players I contacted earlier for car-pooling said he’ll pick me up at 9:10am the follow day.

after a gameDidn’t he know he’s no longer needed?

He was being cut as well. When I asked him, he paused. Either he or other players received other instructions or they just decided to go.

If it’s the former, it proved the organizer in deed playing politics here. If it’s the later, it shows poor organizing skill, very confusing.

I decided to go knowing well I was not invited and unwelcome.

My intention was to check out my hometown players and also being from the same city that would make them feel more comfortable. It’s beyond me that the organizer failed to see eye to eye with me.

As it turned out, the Beijing team sent more than a dozen.

Our group had more than a dozen showed up.

The CatsNY got two more courts to accommodate the mass.

Cheers .. the group came armed with a journalist Tennis World Magazine fm BeijingI have always favored an open forum (vs e-mail) for group activities where it’s easier to keep truck of what’s up and been done (with polling feature), that way can also reduce e-mail traffic. Of course, the big downside, the organizer would obviously lose ‘control’, the ability to manipulate.

Playing tennis in China is expensive, still considered a luxury sport, as with golf – the green opium.

The Beijing tennis group is very interesting.

The licensing of NRTP.

I was dumbfounded to hear a tennis rating could be licensed. The BJ players told me that as an individual they didn’t pay to be rated, but the club paid. The USTA even sent a representative to Beijing to do the rating.

“Was there training involved?” I wondered.

They didn’t know.

“Was the person white?”

“Yes. She was.”

“Does she speak Chinese?”

“No .. “ but there was an interpreter.

Why can’t the Chaoyang club read the description and rate the players themselves? Can’t they find a knowledgeable player to do so?

after lunch .. fr left: couple ... father and daughterA down payment for a future alliance?? But tennis being so international, USTA certainly doesn’t represent the world of tennis. It’s only one of few major components. There are Wimbledon and Roland Garros. .. with the Aussie in the distance.

One of the members mentioned that the Chaoyang club did consider and decided to reach out to the Americans. The USTA logo is prominently displayed on their site.

I didn’t have complete score but BJ won most matches. Few players ..

Li Qiang 李强 (top .. serving) is a 46-year old PhD candidate at Beijing Athletic Academy, 北京体育学院. He works at Normal University, my mom’s Alma mater. His path to tennis was during his teaching years at Dongbei Nongye Daxue 东北农业大学 Northeast Agriculture University where he was a martial art master, or kung-fu master. When school wanted to start tennis program, they turned to him who knew nothing about Love 40. With innate athletic ability, he learned the game then taught. He was HelongJiang Provincial single champion.

This couple (pic above .. husband to my right wife to my left) work at Beihang 北航, 北京航空学院 Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The wife visited Moscow in 1992 after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and brought back two tennis racquets. They both plagued into the sport, and primarily play at Beihang where they work and live.

A sign and sight in New York

The PhD team (to my left .. Dad and his girl). Dr. Dad is professor at Beihang’s Research Center for Condensed Physics and Materials Physics – phew .. may I get my PhD degree now ?? after I copied down this long string of alien stuff from his business card :). Dr. Daughter is a life cycle analyst, taking the title of Director at the Dairy Management Inc. in Chicago. She doesn’t play but came down to see dad for a few days.

Wang Jihong is the correspondent. Yes, the BJ club came armed with a 26-year old journalist who writes for Tennis World Magazine.


Unfortunately I didn’t get to talk to everyone on the Beijing delegate.

We filled three tables at East Buffet in Elmhurst for lunch. It happened the organizer sat at our table who hardly said anything throughout the meal. Speaking the same dialect doesn’t mean you’ll have common language.

This McDonald ad was opposite to the East Manor Restaurant in Elmhurst, New York. Not Beijing .. mind you.

More pics on FB
More trouble follows

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Poorly disguised Nash joins Beijing pick-up game

nashThis is pretty cute ..

Suns guard Steve Nash showed up in disguise at a Beijing pick-up game over the weekend, hoping to shoot some hoops incognito. Unfortunately, he forgot his fake mustache and monocle.

Nash is in China for the week doing promotional and charity work. After a few three-on-three half-court games with local regulars, Captain Canada crossed over to the nearby soccer pitch to play a little footy.

Check out more photos here.

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Hu Na 胡娜 or 胡闹

On the way to meet the Beijing club yesterday, the four of us talked about Chinese tennis players. One of them asked if we still remember Hu Na.

So funny. I thought about her too recently.

According to this friend who’s husband learned his tennis while attending Zhongshan University in Guangdong Province, from Hu’s coach.

Apparently after the asylum episode, the coach was being reprimanded, demoted from coaching the national team. .. .. But he still had a job 🙂

My gut feeling was that she harbored no political ambition at all, rather than economical one. Golfer and I jokingly called her 胡闹 hu’nao run wild; be mischievous.

Later that morning, we met up with a club traveling from Beijing to New York. One of the members said he met Hu Na few times in Beijing. That she’s coaching in Taiwan.
“Cashing on her fame or she’s indeed a good coach?” I wondered.
It seemed all the old grudges had forgotten, or she wrote multiple repenting letters like that movie starlet Bai Ling of Red Corner fame?
This delegate member (who asked not to be identified) denied that Chinese government had demoted the coach.
“Is she married? Any children? .. .. how does she like Taiwan .. Moving back to China eventually? .. ”
The member demurred, “I didn’t ask .. that’s too personal .. ”

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