National tennis team in disarray

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Coach Michael Baroch guides a player during a training course with the national tennis team. Photo by Kha Hoa

With the Davis Cup just ten days away, the General Department of Physical Training and Sports has asked key figures from the national tennis team to get their act together. 

Coach Tran Duc Quynh and Asian Youth Games champion Ly Hoang Nam did not show up to train with the national team, which is preparing the Davis Cup to be held next month in the United Arab Emirates.

Coach Quynh said he and Nam could not come for the training because their management agency Binh Duong Province Tennis Federation and Becamex Binh Duong Club did not receive a formal invitation from the General Department of Physical Training and Sports.

But in Tuesday interview with Thanh Nien, Chief of the Tennis division of The General Department of Physical Training and Sports, Doan Quoc Cuong, said that Coach Quynh and VTF have had disagreements about the number of players that should be called to train for the upcoming Davis Cup.

The Department Deputy Director Lam Quang Thanh on Wednesday said, "The General Department of Physical Training and Sports has received information that not all team members showed up to prepare for Davis Cup competition in the United Arab Emirates.

"It is incorrect to say that no official document has been sent from the General Department because we double-checked and verified that all the documents were sent last week."

Thanh said the General Department has been informed that the Tennis Division of the General Department and the Vietnam Tennis Federation (VTF) sent emails to concerned local agencies, players and coaches, so no one can say they did not show up because they did not receive notification.

"If Coach Duc Quynh and Hoang Nam could come for training with the national team for any reason, their agency Becamex Binh Duong should have sent a document explaining why. They cannot just say that they do not want or do not have plans [to participate in national team training sessions]," Thanh said.

Thanh said that all the members of the national tennis team should take advantage of the chance to train with Australian tennis pro Michael Baroch.

Coach Quynh also said that the period of training is not long enough for Baroch to help much, noting that the foreign coach would likely be given all the credit if the team plays well at the Davis Cup.

However, Thanh told Thanh Nien that disagreements [between Coach Quynh and the VTF] have been minor and that past misunderstandings have been settled.

General Department Director Vuong Bich Thang stressed that it is the policy of his department and VTF to create an opportunity for the country's elite tennis players to learn from the visiting Australian expert to improve their skills.

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