Tennis prodigy nears 100th ranking

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Vietnam's 16-year-old tennis star Nguyen Hoang Thien has jumped from 150th to the 136th position in the junior rankings released by International Tennis Federation (ITF) on October 11.

Thien's leap is based on recent achievements, particularly in advancing to the boys' singles final at the China Junior 15 - Xiamen 2011 (ITF Under-18 Grade 2) championship in September.

He also won the boys' singles and doubles titles at the Hong Kong Open Junior Tennis Championships 2011 (ITF Grade 4) early this month.

With his current ranking, Thien is qualified to play in the four Grand Slam competitions - the US Open, the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon.

If Thien continues to record victories at international junior contests in the future, he can enter the top 100 in the World Junior rankings and go even farther.

Thien and his two French coaches, Marcel Petit and Tom Kindavong, are now in Osaka, Japan to compete at the Osaka Mayor's Cup - World Super Junior Tennis Championships from October 17-23.

This Grade A contest has attracted a lot of strong competitors like the world number one junior player, Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic, and world number three, Australia's Luke Saville.

His current ranking mean's Thien does not have to compete in the qualifying rounds at Osaka.

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