Daniel Nguyen has gathered with the national tennis team after a short training camp in the US and is determined to win two gold medals in his first Southeast Asian (SEA) Games next month.
The Vietnamese American player became a naturalised citizen at the end of October. Additionally, he was registered to attend the SEA Games on the last day of registering, becoming the greatest hope of Vietnamese tennis at the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines, alongside Vietnam’s top tennis player Ly Hoang Nam.
Currently ranked 341st in the ATP rankings, Daniel is the top seed in men's singles at the upcoming SEA Games. The 29-year-old once rose to No. 189 in the world and has participated in all four prestigious Grand Slams. With his international experience and level, Daniel is rated at a higher level than other regional competitors in the Games. His outstanding achievements accompanied by his current good form could bring a great opportunity for Vietnam to win the first gold medal for Vietnamese tennis at the biennial multi-sport event.
"The gold medal is the goal that every player is aiming for, so being able to touch it is a difficult thing. I know there are some good players in the region, but I will try my best to bring home gold medals for Vietnamese tennis in both the singles and doubles events," Daniel affirmed his determination.
"Recently, I joined a tournament in Houston (the US) to prepare for the SEA Games. After that, I also spent more time back in California to train with my coach. I will play my best to achieve the highest result," the 1990-born player told reporters on Wednesday, after returning to Tay Ninh from the US to gather with his teammates.
Daniel Cao Nguyen (2nd from left) gathers with the Vietnamese tennis team before leaving for the 2019 SEA Games. (Photo: VTF)
In addition to the men’s singles, Vietnamese tennis also lays high gold medal hopes in the men’s doubles. The coaching staff has made the choice to pair Ly Hoang Nam with Le Quoc Khanh, while Daniel will couple with Nguyen Van Phuong, a young player with strong recent performance.
Vietnamese tennis team participate in the 30th SEA Games with five male and five female players, competing in all five events, including men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles. The tennis events will take place from December 1 to 7 at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Centre in Manila, Philippines.
The Vietnamese tennis team are in the southern province of Tay Ninh for their final stage of preparations for the Games. On November 29, the team will depart from Ho Chi Minh City-based Tan Son Nhat Airport to head for Manila to compete in the SEA Games.