Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Vietbay Open Is Heating Up

Hoan Nguyen

Vietbay Open Draw
While tennis draws are mostly considered a ceremonial affair, it can be a controversial and amusing one. The drawing for the Vietbay Open 2013 was an example of this—it attracted a lot of attention, and debates, and at one point some players believed they might need to reveal their social security numbers for the draws to happen. We did not foresee this, but it’s reasonable that players have their own concepts of a fair way to draw. And let’s not forget: all players prefer to feel lucky—for one to win such a prestigious tournament as the Vietbay Open, he will need all the luck he can get.

Despite these early uncertainties, Vietbay Open 2013‘s turning out to be a very nice tournament. Today is Day 2 of the Vietbay Open, and the big favorites are through to the quarters.

In group A, the most anticipated match was between Binh and Minh, two big hitters. Binh is known to be the one with the biggest fire-power among the players participating, and his game is beautiful to watch. A semifinal showing is the least we can expect of him. To match, Minh also has some killing-shots of his own, which make this match interesting. However, those shorts mostly deserted him today. In a battle of ground-strokes— or lack thereof, Binh dominated most the points and comfortably won 6-2. Interestingly, there are reports that Poker rather than tennis is more on Minh’s mind these days. However, the player himself said otherwise. It remains to be seen whether he can regroup after this match.

Later, Binh returns to the courts to play against Thang. Thang was defeated by Minh the other day, and he badly needed a win here. He started the match very strong with some stunning drop shots that kept Binh in his back foot. Thang certainly tried to mix up his game—after all, he can’t match Binh in the fire-power department. After 1-1 however, Binh raised his levels, and had all the answers no matter what was thrown at him. He won the next 5 games to guarantee himself a place in the quarterfinals.

Also through to the quarterfinals is Viet Hai, who displayed some captivating tennis to completely dismantle Hoan Nguyen— with a bagel. Left shell-shocked, there was not much Hoan could do. He tried to run after every ball, and he’s generally very successful at this. The problem is he never could turn defense into offense to tip the scale. And his serve is certainly work in progress— you can’t scare a fly with that serve.

In Group B, Cuong Pham, the Viet-Google champion cruised to another comfortable win. His name literally means “diamond” in English, but he can play soft as well as hit hard. He still has one more match to play, but with two wins (6-1 and 6-0), he clinched a quarterfinal berth. He’s definitely a player to watch this Open.

Also ripping through the draw is Phuong Tran, who is the most productive player on tour, with a great record to match: 3 wins out of possible 3 today, against Viet, Tri and Minh Pham. He is on top of Group C now.

He is next to play in the quarterfinal the loser of the match between Viet Hai and Minh Dang. From the outset, Hai played with intent and aggression and he quickly raced to a a 5-1 lead. However, he went down-hill from there; his unforced errors pilling. Minh Dang took full advantage, with some great ball placement and consistency. He secured the next 7 games to finish first in group D.

The quarterfinal landscape is getting clearer by the day. In group A, Binh is through, and Minh has a good chance, but Minh Do is still to play his first match. In group B, Cuong Pham is on top, Minh N Tran won 7-5 against Cuong Tran but lost to Hung 3-6. It looks like Hung is going to finish second in Group B. In group C, Phuong is first, and Viet is likely to finish second. In group D, Minh Dang is first, and Viet Hai is second.

There goes your recap of Day 2 of the Vietbay Open. Some mouth-watering tennis matches are just around the corner. For tennis results and schedules, check out the VBO tennis tournament Googledoc.

Palto-Alto based Hoan Nguyen covers tennis for the Vietbay Open.

1 comment:

  1. Just for fun: added a clip with pictures taken from the Vietbay FB page.