Viet Nam News -
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s No. 1 player Lý Hoàng Nam will play Mercelo Tomas Barrios Vera of Chile in the first round match of the 2016 International Tennis Federation Junior Masters at the Sichuan International Tennis Centre in Chengdu starting today.
Nam, 19, is the world No. 870 while Vera, 18, is No. 662.
2015 saw Nam win his first Grand Slam title, as he picked up the Junior Wimbledon doubles title alongside Sumit Nagal. Also in 2015, he picked up the singles and doubles titles at the Grade 1 Sarawak Chief Minister’s Cup, and did the same at the Asian Closed Junior Championships.
Nam is still awaiting his first title on the ITF Pro Circuit, but has reached some semi-finals, most recently in December 2015.Vera had a very impressive start to his junior career, reaching the singles final and winning the doubles title in just his second tournament, before following that up with a second consecutive doubles title in the very next tournament.
The end of 2015 saw Barrios Vera progress from the Junior circuit to the ITF Pro Circuit. Between October and December, the young Chilean reached two quarterfinals, two semifinals and a final, as well as four doubles finals, one of which produced a title.
In other matches, No. 1 seed Casper Ruud of Norway opens against William Blumberg, the talented American who reached the quarter-final at Wimbledon last July. No. 2 Hong Seong Chan of South Korea clashes with the lone Spaniard Alvaro Lopez San Martin in the field.The only player returning from the inaugural event in 2015 is Orlando Luz. The Brazilian will be hoping to improve on his fourth-place finish, but in order to do so he will have to overcome Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round. Kecmanovic is still just 16, but boasts an impressive resume at the under-18 level, winning the prestigious Orange Bowl event last season.
All players are guaranteed three matches this week, with the first-round winners moving forward and losers going back. Participating in this event, they will compete for a total prize of US$160,000 in travel grants. Each player will earn a minimum travel grant of $7,000, while the boys’ and girls’ champions will be awarded $15,000 travel grants. — VNS