|Lý Hoàng Nam is one of the key players of the national tennis team. — Photo zadn.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese tennis aims to become more professional this year, according to chairman of Việt Nam Tennis Federation (VTF), Nguyễn Quốc Kỳ.
Kỳ said the VTF is still seeking sponsors to draw non-State funds worth around VNĐ14 billion (US$608,700) per year to develop tennis, adding to the VNĐ6 billion ($260,800) the VTF invests per year.
During the process of professionalism, the VTF will divide amateur and professional events clearly.
“Việt Nam is approaching the professional trend so events for teams of provinces and cities playing under the Davis Cup and Fed Cup format every year is necessary,” said Kỳ.
“Besides, the VTF plans to hold a system of amateur events around the country to ensure stable tennis development,” Kỳ added.
Việt Nam will hold 22 tournaments this year including four international events, namely a qualifying round for the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup in April, ITF U18 Junior Circuit Group 4 and ITF U18 Junior Circuit Group 5 in July.
Among 22 events, the VTF will also hold national championships, master’s events, pro tours, VTF junior tours and VTF amateur tours.
Việt Nam has hosted ATP Challenger events since 2015, helping young Vietnamese players hone their skills and gain experience.
“Prestigious international tournaments held in Việt Nam have helped Vietnamese young aces hone their skills and raise their levels. So far, Việt Nam has strong and confident young players who have qualified the Davis Cup’s Asia/Oceania Zone Group II,” said Kỳ.
Việt Nam now has many promising talents including Lý Hoàng Nam, Trịnh Linh Giang, Hoàng Thành Trung, Nguyễn Đắc Tiến and Nguyễn Văn Phương. Nam is now in the world’s top 400.
With these players, Việt Nam are aiming for promotion to Group 1 of the Davis Cup next year. Việt Nam will also aim to win gold in the men’s event and bronze in the women’s event at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 30 in the Philippines.
According to experts, these are not easy tasks but Việt Nam can complete their dream if they can take full advantage of overseas Vietnamese. At the SEA Games 29 two years ago, Việt Nam only won two bronze medals in men’s singles and doubles.
"At present, there are six overseas Vietnamese tennis players ranking from 200-300 in the ATP rankings. They all want to devote themselves to Vietnamese tennis. If they become naturalised Vietnamese citizens, Việt Nam will fulfill the target,” said Kỳ.
Thái-Sơn Kwiatkowski, ATP world ranking 275, is playing for HCM City and has agreed to become a naturalised Vietnamese citizen to take part in the Southeast Asian Games later this year.
The 23-year-old Kwiatkowski has a Vietnamese mother and a Polish-American father.
The VTF said it also plans to open youth tennis institutes in Đà Nẵng and then in Tây Ninh, Bình Dương and HCM City to develop tennis and seek young talents. — VNS