A STAR IN THE MAK­ING

Chris­tian wins sin­gles and dou­bles ti­tle in Tereng­ganu

New Straits Times - - Sport - AJIT­PAL SINGH ajit­pals­ingh@nst.com.my

MALAYSIA may have found a le­git­i­mate ten­nis tal­ent in Chris­tian Di­dier Chin. The 17-year-old earned a break­through in his ten­nis ca­reer by win­ning both the sin­gles and dou­bles ti­tles at the ITF Tereng­ganu In­ter­na­tional Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships (Grade 4) in Padang Hili­ran yes­ter­day.

Chris­tian, the sec­ond seed, de­feated Ja­pan’s Mit­sui Shun­suke 6-2, 6-4 in the sin­gles fi­nal.

In the dou­bles, he and Karan Srivastava of In­dia over­came Tai­wan’s Chen Yu FengLin Han Chih 6-2, 6-3 for the ti­tle.

Chris­tian, who is of Malaysian-Tai­wanese parent­age, is the first lo­cal ju­nior in re­cent times to win both the sin­gles and dou­bles ti­tles in an ITF event held here.

For the record, it was his sec­ond sin­gles ti­tle of the sea­son af­ter the Kuala Lumpur Ju­nior In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­onship (Grade Five) in March.

The dou­ble vic­to­ries yes­ter­day will move Chris­tian at least 70 rungs up from his cur­rent ju­nior rank­ing of World No 241.

Chris­tian’s re­cent suc­cesses put him in a favourable po­si­tion of be­ing se­lected for the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games on Aug 1930.

“I was play­ing un­be­liev­able ten­nis in the tour­na­ment. My con­fi­dence grew when I bounced back from 5-2 down to beat Thai­land’s sec­ond best ju­nior player Ka­sidit Sam­rej 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the third round,” Chris­tian told Time­s­port yes­ter­day.

“In the fi­nal to­day, Shun­suke made me work hard as he was fast and fight­ing for ev­ery point. It is a great win and now I am aim­ing for big­ger tour­na­ments in Grade Two and Three cat­e­gories.

“My aim was to break into the top 200 by the end of the sea­son but I have al­ready achieved it. The goal now is to go be­yond top 100 as it will earn me spots in Ju­nior Grand Slams,” said Chris­tian, who will play in the Asian Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships (Grade B1) in In­dia on May 29-June 3.

Na­tional coach S. Sel­vara­joo said Chris­tian is head­ing to­wards greater things in his ca­reer.

“He is def­i­nitely a player with tal­ent and I be­lieve he will put Malaysian ten­nis on the world map again if he con­tin­ues to work hard.

“He has ex­cel­lent fight­ing qual­i­ties but he must work on his re­turns, where he needs to add more speed and power.”

PIC BY IM­RAN MAKHZAN

Chris­tian Di­dier Chin re­turns a shot to Ja­pan’s Shun­suke Mit­sui in semi-fi­nals of the ITF Tereng­ganu In­ter­na­tional Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships (Grade 4) in Padang Hili­ran yes­ter­day.

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