Two Vietnamese-origin pros to join national tennis team

By Hoang Nguyen   February 10, 2020 | 10:15 pm PT
A Vietnamese-American man and a Vietnamese-French woman are set to join Vietnam’s tennis squad after applying for Vietnamese citizenship.

Vietnamese-American Thai Son Kwiatkowski made headlines recently after winning the prestigious ATP Challenger Tour at Newport Beach, in the U.S.

Despite not being seeded in the tournament, Thai Son (rank 271) beat many strong players in top 100 and 200 including Denis Istomin (170) and Steve Johnson (75) to win the trophy. The ATP title pushed the 24-year-old athlete jump 90 places to 181st in the latest world ranking.

Thai Son Kwiakowski plays for Hung Thinh Tennis Club. Photo courtesy of HCMC Tennis Federation.

Thai Son Kwiakowski plays for the Hung Thinh Tennis Club. Photo courtesy of HCMC Tennis Federation.

Thai Son has expressed his desire to play for Vietnam earlier. He also joined Ho Chi Minh City club Hung Thinh for some domestic competitions in 2019, dominating the field.

"We are completing Thai Son's application to help him get Vietnamese citizenship. Due to his busy schedule, he can only return to Vietnam in April to complete necessary procedures and participate in a local tournament at the same time," said Nguyen Thi Kieu My, General Secretary of HCMC Tennis Federation.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of the Vietnam Tennis Professionals (VTP) association, Doan Thanh Tung, confirmed that besides Thai Son Kwiakowski, Vietnamese-French female tennis player Alizé Lim (ranked 135) has also applied for Vietnamese citizenship.

Alizé Lim in VTP Pro Tour 2018. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Tennis Professionals.

Alizé Lim in action on the VTP Pro Tour, 2018. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Tennis Professionals.

The addition of Lim and Thai Son is expected to boost the strength of Vietnamese tennis at upcoming international tournaments.

However, these two players will not be able to represent Vietnam at the premier international team event, the 2020 Davis Cup, this November. The tournament requires all athletes to have been citizens of a country for at least 24 months to be eligible participants.

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