Vietnamese advances to semis of Asian tennis tourney

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     Ly Hoang Nam becomes the first Vietnamese to advance to the semifinals of the boys' singles tennis event at the Asian Youth Games 2013. File photo

Ly Hoang Nam, 16, made history Wednesday by becoming the first Vietnamese to advance to the semifinals of the boys' singles tennis event at the Asian Youth Games 2013 being held in Nanjing, China.

Nam, ranked 140th by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), took a straight-set win over Yang Shao-Chi (Taiwan), ranked 163rd by the ITF.

Nam's coach Tran Duc Quynh said the extreme heat exhausted both players in the first set. With the score tied at 5-5, Nam fell behind 40-15, but rallied to win the game. He then won the next game to take the set 7-5.

The match continued to be a see-saw affair in the second set until Nam's impressive long shots proved too much for Shao-Chi. Nam took the set 6-4.

The semifinal berth guarantees Nam no less than a bronze medal. Yet he has a great chance of advancing to the finals because he is set to play Dmitry Popko (Kazakhstan), who is ranked just 259th by the IFT.

Popko advanced to the semis because an injury forced the event's top seed, Zheng Wei Qiang (China), to drop out in the third set.

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