>>Tennis: Ly Hoàng Nam climbs to 364e world square
>>Ly Hoàng Nam enters the history of Vietnamese tennis
>>Ly Hoàng Nam returns to the ATP Top 500
|Ly Hoàng Nam savors his triumph at the U15 international tournament in Tây Ninh (South). Photo: CTV/CVN|
“I said that if I can’t reach the top 100 in the world before I turn 30, I will stop my professional career. So to achieve this goal, I will have to work harder to be in the top 300 this year”said Ly Hoàng Nam, who turned 25 last February.
The COVID-19 pandemic kept him from competing and training overseas for months. Having played no matches, Hoàng Nam dropped from the top 500 to the top 1,000 in the ATP rankings.
“I couldn’t travel for 18 months and I only played a few tournaments in Vietnam. I was bored training every day without having competitions in my sights. But I accepted the situation and I continued to work hard while waiting for a return to normal”he shared.
When the tournaments gradually resumed, Ly Hoàng Nam was not at his best but he was still strong enough to participate in 16 international events in 2021. Of those, he won three tournament titles ITF Men’s World Tennis Tour M15 organized respectively in Egypt and Mexico last October and November. With his successes, he entered the world top 600.
“These victories were a real success for me. I gained the points that I had lost during months without a match. My world ranking was even raised. I think it was an important turning point for my comeback after the pandemic”rejoiced the former junior champion in men’s doubles at Wimbledon.
Ly Hoàng Nam has the ambition to enter the world top 100 before his 30th birthday.
The Southeast Asian No.1 went on to have an incredible first half of 2022 with back-to-back wins domestically and internationally, finishing twice as runners-up in theITF Men’s World Tennis Tour M15 in France in March and in Thailand in April. A month later, he successfully defended his singles title at the 31are Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games31) held in Vietnam. He won three titles at U15 events in his hometown of Tay Ninh (South) last June.
His remarkable performances boosted his world ranking. In the July 11 ATP rankings, Ly Hoàng Nam climbed to 358e place, the highest rank of a Vietnamese tennis player in history. He broke his own record (385e place) that he established in November 2018.
The victory at SEA Games 31 is, to this day, his best memory.
In 2019, Ly Hoàng Nam made history as the first Vietnamese tennis player to win a singles gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games. Almost three years later, he once again made national sporting history as the first player to successfully defend his title.
“I was happy because I defended my title and this time it was special because I won it in Vietnam”, did he declare. And to continue: “Winning at home is really different. I was thrilled when I lifted the cup in my hometown for the first time”.
Trân Duc Quynh, Ly Hoàng Nam’s first coach, is still impressed by his student. “Passion, effort and perseverance are the weapons that have consistently guided Hoàng Nam to success”he estimated.
“He is a hardworking player with a professional conscience. He always wants to improve and goes to the court with determination. He is the most technically perfect tennis player in Vietnam since the age of 20”Mr. Quynh added.
According to him, Ly Hoàng Nam did not have an ideal height (1.75 m) for high level sport. His physical condition was not good enough and his technique needed to be refined. But with patience, talent and ambition, he was able to fill his gaps and ambition.
A dedicated player
For Thai Truong Giang, owner of the Hai Dang Tây Ninh club, of which Ly Hoàng Nam is a member, he is a voluntary player entirely devoted to tennis. He is not only the most experienced and awarded member of the club, but also an idol and an example for his teammates.
“I think tennis is a difficult discipline. Players have to train and compete all year round to be at their top level. It’s really tough but it has turned me into a brave player with a strong mind”said Ly Hoàng Nam.
“I am a person who loves a challenge. I want to do things that people think are impossible. I always set high goals for myself and achieve them. I am now full of energy and confidence. Powerful rivals are waiting for me . It will be difficult but I am ready”he enthused.
Ly Hoàng Nam will participate in many tournaments this year to enter the top 300. At the end of the month, he will fly to Malaysia for two U25 competitions. He will return to the country to join the national team which will compete in Group 3 of the Davis Cup in August in Tây Ninh. Then, he will go to Thailand for the Challenger Tour 50.
“My goal is to improve my level. The Challenger competition is much more difficult than the U15 tournaments. I will have to improve my physical condition and my technique. My serves will have to be stronger and my shots more precise”he concluded.