I introduce this thread as I see that the young Vietnamese Nguyên Hoang Thiên (only 14 so far, born 12th of march 1995) is doing well in the Orange Bowl 14 ( Orange Bowl 14 draw
He has reached the semifinal with all very easy wins.
It's not so often that Vietnamese are competitive in sports
I read that, and I found it quite good, especially that he's already 1.67 m tall (5 feet 6 inches) at 13 years old, which means he should not be one of these usual Asian small guys who are limited by their physical when they play with the seniors.
VietNamNet Bridge – Thailand has Paradon who entered the world’s top 12 tennis players. Vietnam hopes to have a future world-ranking tennis star because it currently has a talent named Nguyen Hoang Thien, 13.
Thien was born in 1995. He started practicing tennis at the age of 8. His first “coaches” were ball gatherers on his father’s tennis court. Two years later, he won the championship of the National U-10 Tennis Tournament 2005.
In September 2005, Thien’s family sent him to Florida (USA) to study tennis at the Sharde Brook Tennis Institute. After one year in the US, Thien had his own coach, an Indian-American, Mr. Ashok S. Bikkannavar (paid $50,000/year). The coach treated Thien like his son. He taught the boy not only how to play tennis but how to behave. Thien has become his pride.
Thien has travelled through all 52 states and commonwealths in the US to attend various tennis tournaments for kids. He ranked 21st at the America U12 Tennis Championships.
Thien’s talent was revealed at the Vietnam-Thailand Tennis Tournament at the Phu Tho Club in HCM City in 2007. There Thien defeated Thailand’s Rungseeraif to become the champion of the Men’s U12 Championship.
In 2008, Thien impressed the tennis circles when he became the champion of the Men’s U14 of Asia, Bahrain, India, South Korea, and the champion of the U18 ATF Binh Duong tournament. He is now the top player in Asia’s U14 ranking.
Thien has impressed others with his professional style of playing, even when playing against rivals who are 4-5 years old and have higher rankings. Many tennis experts from Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand were surprised witnessing Thien trounce older rivals at the Asian Tennis Championship 2008. They saw Thien’s victory as a great exploit.
Coach Ashok also highly applauded Thien’s talent. He said Thien has a good physique (13 years old, 1.67m, 60kg), good techniques, good health, and good thinking as well so Thien can go further as a professional tennis player. The coach also said that Thien has a great passion for this sport and the boy is the most special case he has come across in his career as a tennis coach.
Thien’s biggest wish is to enter the top 100 of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) before he reaches the age of 20. The US has invited Thien to join its national tennis team but Thien’s parents want their son to play tennis as a Vietnamese athlete.
It is the first time in Vietnam’s tennis history there is a player who was exceptionally allowed to take part in the Australian Open Tennis Tournament for U-18 players, the first Grand Slam of the year. That player is Hoang Thien.
Thien’s idol is the Swiss player R. Federer. Besides tennis, Hoang Thien is a 13-year-old boy who loves playing computer games. Being supported greatly by his family, Hoang Thien is the great hope of Vietnam’s tennis in the future.
Thiên is strongly supported by his rich father :
VietNamNet Bridge – Thailand has a tennis player – Paradorn – who has entered the top 12 of the world. How about Vietnam? A Vietnamese man has begun to answer this question by affirming he will “invest US$1 million to have a professional player”.
That’s the director of the IMC Real Estate Trading Company, Nguyen Ngoc Minh, the father of Nguyen Hoang Thien, the new champion of the U-12 Tennis Tournament (Prudence Cup 2007).
Watching the matches of Nguyen Hoang Thien at this year Prudence Cup, tennis experts were really surprised about his great progress. With powerful serves, accurate and intelligent back hands, Hoang Thien defeated Nguyen Tuan Anh (from Binh Duong province) in the final match to win the championship.
Before entering the final, Hoang Thien set a record by winning four consecutive matches.
To have this impressive achievement, apart from his innate talent, his passion for tennis and laborious practice, the investment from his family is a decisive factor.
Nearly two years ago, discovering Thien’s talent for tennis, his father, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Minh, decided to send the boy to the US for a long-term training course.
In his first year there, Hoang Thien studied tennis at the Florida Young Tennis Institute. After the first year, with US$50,000 of investment, Mr. Minh said that his son’s playing skills were a little better. However, for a professional career, it was not enough.
In early 2007, Mr. Minh hired a professional tennis coach from the US, Ashok Bikkannvar, at a yearly pay of $50,000, to teach his son. He also hired a Vietnamese American child-minder to take car of his son during his time in the US.
According to Mr. Minh, he has paid more than $100,000 for his son so far this year and this amount of money will be higher.
With this huge investment, Hoang Thien now ranks 29th of 1,370 U-12 tennis players of Vietnam.
About Hoang Thien, tennis coach Doan Le Minh said: “If the current investment is maintained, Hoang Thien will progress farther in the future. He is 12 years old now and with what he has proved and with his investment, Hoang Thien can become a professional tennis player.”
“My ambition is to train Hoang Thien to enter the top 100 tennis players of the world at the age of 20. The disadvantage of Southeast Asian players is their small physical statures but height is not a problem for Hoang Thien because he is 1.58m at the age of 12. I think that the decisive thing is the financial capability of Thien’s family,” said coach Ashok Bikkannvar.
However, Mr. Bikkannvar’s worry has been solved by Mr. Ngoc Minh’s affirmation. “In our current situation, my family can support Thien for the next 5-6 years. My family is ready to spend US$1 million to have a professional tennis player. We only hope that the sports sector of Vietnam has a good legal corridor and will help us in terms of formalities so that Thien can attend all tournaments in the competition system of the International Tennis Federation.”
Three months ago, when coming to Vietnam for the Challenger 2007 tournament, Urapathy, an international tennis expert, said: “Vietnam doesn’t lack talents. This country’s tennis ranking has not improved because it doesn’t have patrons who can invest huge amounts of money in this sport like in Thailand and Indonesia.”
However, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Minh is now ready to spend $1 million on his son.
PS : I'm not originary Vietnamese myself despite my pseudo.