Ly Hoang Nam, 16, won the 2013 Chang LTAT ITF Grade 2 tennis tournament in Thailand after beating top seed Russian Boris Pokotilov in the final match on Sunday.
The Russian, ranked 103rd by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) showed his superiority in the first four games, leading 3-1 in the first set, but the 142nd-ITF-ranked Nam improved and made it 3-3.
Boris made a great stride again towards the end, leading 5-3, but Nam, who successfully retained his championship title at the Vietnam National Tennis Championship early this month, did not give up. Nam leveled the score 5-5 before taking the lead 6-5.
Boris made it 6-6 but Nam played well in the tie-break to win 7-3 and took the set.
The fierce fight had made Boris tired and he needed medical assistance. He then withdrew due to an injury.
Nam’s coach Tran Duc Quynh said, “This is the first time a Vietnamese tennis player has won the championship in a Grade 2 tournament that attracted high-ranked juniors from around the world. The championship is likely to lift Nam to the ITF’s top 100 next week.”
A place in the ITF top 100 will guarantee Nam a chance to participate in the juniors contest at the Australian Open next year; but Nam needs to be among the ITF top 50 to win an official spot at the contest because a position between 50 and 100 would mean he would have to face fierce competition in the qualifiers, Coach Quynh said.
As planned, Nam will compete at seven ITF Grade 2 events from now until the end of the year.