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Trung slams into national semis

Update: September, 17/2009 - 00:00

Trung slams into national semis

(18-09-2009)

High-handed: Tran Lam Anh of HCM City’s Tanimex team returns to her teammate Nguyen Ai Ngoc Van in the women’s singles of National Championship quarter-finals yesterday. She won 6-7, 6-1, 6-0. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh

HA NOI — Becamex Binh Duong player, Nguyen Thanh Trung, booked a place in the National Tennis Championship’s semi-final round after beating Tran Thanh Hoang of Soc Trang 6-3, 6-2 yesterday in Ha Noi.

Trung, who easily entered the quarter-finals, only needed a hour and a half to beat Hoang for his next round berth.

"I played very well today, much better than days before," says Trung.

The HCM City player took advantage of Hoang’s arm injury.

"Hoang is a difficult opponent, but he was injured. He could only repel me in the first games. I tried to take full advantage of my strengths with stormy smashes that he could not react against," Trung says.

His next rival will be Huynh Chi Khuong of the Army team, who beat teenager Nguyen Hoang Thien 7-5, 6-4 in the other quarter-final match.

"I have met Khuong twice in the past and I won one, lost one. I think we both have a 50 per cent chance of winning the match, but I believe in my abilities," Trung says.

Khuong, who is the former national No 2, was met with a little bit of a challenge in his match against Viet Nam’s rising star Thien, who is on track to be a professional athlete.

Thien,14, who won the Asian U14 championship last year, managed to win most his games when taking serves in the first set.

At 6-5, Khuong won a break-point that finished the first set at 7-5.

Khuong faired better in the second set, with Thien making a series of unforced errors. Khuong wrapped up the second set with a 6-4 win.

"He did not listen to what I said and that’s why he failed," says Roy Coppersmith, Thien’s American coach.

"I know how to win against this kind of player [Khuong] and I told him, but he did not obey me. He is a smart player, but he needs to listen to his coach and he will win," Coppersmith adds.

On the women’s side, Tran Lam Anh of HCM City’s Tanimex team finished her match with a win of 6-7, 6-1, 6-0 against teammate Nguyen Ai Ngoc Van in the quarter-finals. Next, she will play veteran Huynh Mai Huynh, also a Tanimex member.

The other semi-final match is between defending champion Nguyen Thuy Dung of Ha Noi and Huynh Phuong Dai Trang from Da Nang.

In mixed doubles, Army’s Le Quoc Khanh/Nguyen Tu Kim Ngan beat Nguyen Thai Luan/Ai Van of Tanimex 6-2, 6-3. They will play another Tanimex pair Lam Quang Tri/Lam Anh, who beat Nguyen Minh Tuan/Do Dan Thi from Da Nang 6-1, 6-0 yesterday.

The national championship kicked off on Monday and has 40 athletes competing in all five categories.

The tournament will wrap up this Sunday. — VNS

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