Ly Hoang Nam national tennis champ at 15

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Fifteen-year-old Ly Hoang Nam became the youngest player to win the national tennis championship after beating Tran Hoang Anh Khoa in the men's singles final in Hanoi on Friday.

In the semifinals on Thursday, Nam had upset Do Minh Quan, who was the country's champion for 10 consecutive years. The win over the 29-year-old Quan gave Nam a clear chance of winning the title because 22-year-old Khoa was expected to be an easier opponent.

Nam comfortably beat Khoa 6-3, 6-3 to snatch the championship.

Not many people had heard about Nam until he won the title on Friday, because Nguyen Hoang Thien, 17, who has been in the limelight for the last year or two as the nation's leading tennis hope, did not compete in the men's singles event this year.

Nam came to Binh Duong to learn to play tennis when he was nine years old, helped by sponsorship from  Becamex Binh Duong.

He won the Under-14 National championship when he was 12, took the U16 title at 14 and snatched the U18 championship before he turned 16.

In late August and early September, Nam won two consecutive International Tennis Federation Grade 5 contests in Vietnam.

Nam's recent performances earned an invitation from the Asian Tennis Federation to join the Asian team to compete at the Junior World Ranking Tournaments in Japan and South Korea from October 13 till November 12.

The men's singles final match between Nam and Khoa was moved to Friday instead of Saturday to make it possible for Nam to fly to Japan for the international event.

However, organizers of the national tennis championships rejected a request to award the trophy as soon as he won the title, instead of doing so during the tournament's closing ceremony instead of giving it to him when he won the title.

Nam's coach Tran Duc Quynh said, "We had proposed to the Vietnam Tennis Federation that the trophy be given to Hoang Nam so that he could enjoy a great moment, but they refused. It was not too difficult, but the organizers were not flexible enough in their approach. That's a pity."

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