Viet Nam's tennis hopeful, Nguyen Hoang Thien, 17, was the only Vietnamese player left in the third round of the F3 Men's Futures tennis tournament, the third and last tournament in the three series of Men's Futures tournaments being held in HCM City.
|Balls out: Viet Nam tennis hopeful Nguyen Hoang Thien. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhut
Thien's coach is Frenchman Tom Kindavong, and his fitness coach is Marcel Dominique Petit. Viet Nam News talks to Kindavong about the match and Thien's prospects.
What do you think about Thien's performance today?
I am very happy with the way he played tactically and mentally. The way he drove the match was very solid. Thien is still very young but he showed some character to deal with the pressure. It is not easy to play with someone who can do everything that you can do.
What did you say to him after he made two early exits at two previous tournaments?
I just supported him and gave him confidence. I repeated: "Be patient and keep working hard and your time will come."
Before the match today, I asked him to play solid tennis and to not give easy points to the opponent. I asked him to attack, especially on his forehand side, if it was possible.
Best performance yet
Thien, 17, produced his best performance yesterday to beat German Dominik Schulz 6-1, 6-1 in the second match.
However, in the quarter-final, Thien will face top-seed Chen Ti of Chinese Taipei, who beat Mateo Marfia 6-3, 6-1 in the second round in the quarter-finals.
In doubles, Vietnamese duo Do Minh Quan and Le Quoc Khanh lost 6-1, 7-5 to Thai partners Weerapat Doakmaiklee and Kittiphong Wachiramanovong in the semi-finals. — VNS
Do you think Thien is at a disadvantage in physical strength and size?
All tall, medium or small guys can play tennis. Small guys can find ways to beat tall guys. When you are on the ball, you can hit the ball. Small guys can move and change direction better than tall guys. You can beat anyone if you believe.
Thien is strong enough. He has improved a lot physically since last year. I told him to try to make his opponent run a lot.
What are the problems that Thien needs to overcome to become a good player?
Thien has no problems. He needs time to develop. I hope in two years Thien will fully develop his game, tactically and mentally. On the technical side, I hope he can master spins, slices and flats that will help him a lot in the future. Right now, it is more important for Thien to learn than to win. — VNS