Tennis: Nam misses out on top at Vietnam F4 Futures

Sunday, 2018-10-28 15:27:15
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Top Vietnamese tennis star Ly Hoang Nam finishes second at the Vietnam F4 Futures tennis tournament held in his hometown in Tay Ninh province. (Photo: Vietnam Tennis Federation)
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NDO – Despite playing with great determination, home favourite, Ly Hoang Nam, could not beat top seed, Roman Safiullin, from Russia, in the men’s singles final at the 2018 Vietnam F4 Futures tennis tournament on October 28.

>>> Tennis: Nam eases into semi-finals at Vietnam F4 Futures

Hundreds of Vietnamese spectators arrived at the Hai Dang Tennis Club in the southern province of Tay Ninh on Saturday morning to cheer on the top Vietnamese tennis player with the heat up to 33C. The Tay Ninh native confidently confronted his 21-year-old rival, ranking 297 in the world, nearly 200 places ahead of him in the ATP rankings.

Nam eased into the final at the tournament held in his hometown after beating 24-year-old Filip Bergevi from Sweden 6-2 6-2 in the semis a day earlier.

Entering the final match against a strong rival, the No. 5 seed played on the offensive right from the start. In the fourth game in set 1, the 481th ranked player suddenly won the break to take a 3-1 lead and then had three opportunities to win the first set at a 5-2 lead. However, the 13-time ITF champion Safiullin, who advanced into the Challenger level (higher than the Futures level), slowly equalised the score and surpassed Nam in the dramatic tie-break with a narrow score of 7-6.

Nam restarted set 2, continuing to compete on a par with the Russian player under the cheers of the home fans. However, with superior in experience, strength and technique, the European player won the decisive break point in the 10th game of the second set, enough to take the championship title with the 7-6 6-4 result after two sets.

Despite finishing second at the home tournament, Nam has been praised by the home fans for his efforts. With his progress to the finals of the Vietnam F4 Futures, he was awarded 15 points on the ATP rankings along with US$2,120 in bonus.

Nam still has the opportunity to compete with his senior peer Le Quoc Khanh for the title in the men’s doubles event that will take place later the same day against top seeded pair Francis Casey Alcantara (the Philippines) and Markus Eriksson (Sweden).

Ly Hoang Nam (front) and Le Quoc Khanh will hunt for the men's doubles title at the Vietnam F4 Futures tennis tournament in Tay Ninh on Saturday afternoon. (Photo: Vietnam Tennis Federation)