HCMC team signs high ranked Vietnamese-American tennis player

By Dang Khoa   October 21, 2019 | 04:37 pm PT
HCMC team signs high ranked Vietnamese-American tennis player
Thai-son Kwiatkowski plays at the Citi Open Tennis in Washington, U.S., July 29, 2018. Photo by Keith Allison.
Vietnamese-American Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, ranked 193 in the world, will play for the Hung Thinh - Ho Chi Minh City team.

The two sides signed a contract of undisclosed value and duration at the Phu Tho Stadium in the city Saturday.

The 24-year-old athlete has a Vietnamese mother and a Polish-American father.

Son won the singles title at the North American's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men's Singles Championship in 2017, reached the semifinals of the Vietnam Open 2019, and lost in the first round of the U.S. Open 2019.

He is currently ranked 193rd in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Vietnamese tennis star Ly Hoang Nam is ranked 486.

The six feet two player told local media that he would play in major international tournaments when he has the chance, but would give priority to playing for his new team.

Nguyen Quoc Ky, chairman of Vietnam Tennis Federation (VTF), said that having Son join a local club would open up more doors for Vietnam tennis in the future.

Son is in the process of becoming a naturalized Vietnamese citizen, Ky said.

However, the Vietnam Tennis Federation has said it does not plan to have Son compete in SEA Games 30 in the Philippines in November even though the naturalization process is allowed to be completed three days ahead of the tournament.

It is possible that VTF will let him play at the following SEA Games in Vietnam in 2021, or the next ASIAD.

Son is currently participating in the National Tennis Championship 2019 being held October 20-26 at the Phu Tho Stadium.

Son is not the first foreign-born tennis player to be recruited by a domestic tennis team.

Daniel Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American tennis player who is currently playing for the Hai Dang - Tay Ninh team, recently won the 2019 ITF Men's World Tennis Tour - M25 in Tay Ninh Province after defeating Vietnam's No.1 player Ly Hoang Nam, seeded 1, and number two seed, Japan's Shuichi Sekiguchi.

He is also in the process of becoming a naturalized Vietnamese citizen.

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