|Rising star: Teenager Ly Hoang Nam successfully defended his national title after beating Nguyen Hoang Thien 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in the men's final match yesterday in Ha Noi. — VNS Photo Quang Thang
HA NOI (VNS) — The first final contested between rising stars Ly Hoang Nam and Nguyen Hoang Thien lived up to a crowd of 3,000 fans's expectations with an exhilarating match in which Nam emerged victorious to successfully defend his title.
Nam, 16, overcame Thien, 18, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 after nearly three hours at the Ha Noi Athletics Centre to claim his second championship following his maiden title last year.
This victory is another landmark for the Binh Duong-based teenager, who has demonstrated rapid progress since he won the national tennis tournament last year.
In August, Nam, world No 139 in the junior rankings, also reached another landmark by becoming the first Vietnamese player to win a tennis gold medal at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China.
"My toughest moment in the match was in the last game. The score was 5-3 and Thien had two break points, but fortunately, I managed to win four successive points," Nam said.
"I am happy with the win because it was the first title I won last year so I'm very emotional."
Nam's accurate groundstrokes frustrated Thien, who seemed unable to adapt his game, making a number of unforced errors that allowed Nam to take a 5-2 lead in the first set. Nam sealed the opener with a forehand winner to take the first set at 6-2.
Thien upped his game in the second set and broke in the third game after a long rally to lead 4-2. Boosted by the break, Thien became more confident and his heavy baseline strokes starting finding the lines.
Nam broke back in the eighth game following a double fault from Thien to level 4-4, but Thien restored his advantage with a break in the following game, but he missed two set points on his serve and allowed Nam to level 5-5.
Thien went in front again with a forehand winner and went on to win his service game with a forehand winner to take the second set and put the match on equal terms.
The two players entered the decider, but it was a one-sided affair with Nam pulling the strings and Thien appearing to run out of steam.
Nam jumped to a 4-1 lead with a break in the fourth game. At 5-3, Thien gave Nam a scare with two break points but Nam rallied to win four points in a row, including two aces, to claim the set 6-3.
Huynh Phi Khanh was crowned the new tennis queen after overthrowing defending champion Huynh Phuong Dai Trang 6-4, 6-1 to win the women's singles.
In the men's doubles, Huynh Chi Khuong and Tran Thanh Hoang became the new champions after overcoming Do Minh Quan and Le Quoc Khanh 7-6, 5-7, 10-5.
In the mixed doubles, Quan and Trang claimed the title with a 2-0 win, while Nguyen Ai Ngoc Van and Tran Thi Tam Hao took the women's doubles event after crushing Phan Thi Thanh Binh and Dan Thi. — VNS