HCM CITY — Nguyen Hoang Thien could not spring another surprise and was tamed 6-2, 6-4 by top seed Chen Ti of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals of the F3 Men's Futures tennis tournament in HCM City yesterday.
After his grand performance in the second round on Thursday when he crushed Dominik Schulz of Germany 6-1, 6-1, a large crowd came to the Phu Tho Tennis Club to support the young player.
But Chen, 28, ranked 272nd by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), was too strong for the 17-year-old who was in the tournament as a wild card seeking his first ITF ranking points.
Chen quickly spotted the weakness in Thien's backhand and exploited it to break serve in the third and fifth games to take control of the first set at 5-1.
Thien, who did not get much chance to unleash his powerful forehand, managed to win one more game before going down 6-2.
In the second set Chen once again started well, breaking in the second game to go 2-0 up. At this point, Thien changed tactics, resorting to slice instead of topspin.
Though his service was too tame to trouble Chen, Thien did not drop it again. But Chen held on that early break to win the second set 6-4 and with it, the match.
"Thien did not start the two sets well today and allowed Chen to make early breaks," the youngster's French coach Tom Kindavong said.
"Chen, with his greater experience, did not give Thien a chance to get back into the game.
"Thien also did not serve well today and Chen made capital of it." — VNS