HCM CITY — Do Minh Quan squandered two match points in the second set against sixth-seeded Thai Kittiphong Wachiramanowong, and then lost the match after losing a 4-1 lead in the deciding third set.
Quan, Viet Nam's only representative in the second round of the F2 Futures Tennis Tournament yesterday, lost 6-3, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (4) after nearly two hours at Hoang Thien Tennis Club in District 8.
Wachiramanowong had a good start, breaking in the first game to lead 2-0, but Quan began to gain his rhythm to break in the fourth game to make it 2-2. Then Thai made many unforced errors to give a 4-2 lead to Quan.
Kittiphong managed to have a break in the seventh game, but Quan broke again to lead 5-3 before going on to win the set 6-3.
Kittiphong improved his game in the second set. Both players broke each other's games a few times until Quan led 6-5 and 40-15 in the 12th game, but the Thai was saved by a double fault from Quan.
Kittiphong 's successful drop shot and forehands forced the set into a tiebreak that he won easily at 7-1.
In the third set, Quan once again was leading 4-1 but his fatigue allowed Kittiphong to level the score at 4-4. The set entered a tiebreak again as both players won their service games.
Kittiphong was the better player in the tiebreak, and had three match points. Quan saved one, but Kittiphong hit another successful drop shot to win the set and the match.
"I cannot explain why I missed two match points. It is probably psychological," the exhausted and disappointed Quan said. "I lost strength in the third set."
Kittiphong said he did not play well in the first set because he was slightly nervous.
"When Quan had two match points in the second set, I just focused on my game and hit the ball. If I played well, then I knew I would have a chance to win," he said. — VNS