Saigonese gripped with tennis fever
By Derek Milroy in HCMC
With Wimbledon in midflow as the oldest grand slam of them all is beamed across the globe, I think it is time to explore the tennis phenomenon gripping the city.
|The gentleman’s sport of tennis is becoming increasingly popular with Saigonese - Photo: Derek Milroy|
Of course it is no surprise to see loads of expatriates in District 2 and 7 continue their passion for the sport in their new home, but it is Saigonese who are grasping their racquets with both hands in increasing numbers.
With the number of tennis enthusiasts in Saigon constantly on the rise, the Daily spoke to some of those in the know.
Lan Anh Sports Club in District 3 is a popular haunt for fans of the gentleman’s game and we spoke to Jimmy Tran, 42, who plays seven days a week and has won a number of trophies in local competitions.
He said: “The end reward of toiling on the court is worth the effort you put in. Tennis is fun and healthy and those who think they don’t have the time for tennis will sooner or later have to find time for sickness.
“In my opinion tennis is one of the basic needs our body craves. It improves blood circulation and is heart-stimulating, lowers blood pressure and prompts the brain to release pain-reducing endorphins.
“Playing tennis is 100% sure to enhance our general sense of well-being. Its benefits are abundant as it keeps our body at its peak. So use it as a baseline for all your other activities. Your body will thank for it.”
Business consultant by day and tennis nut by night Nam Tran Ngo, 25, insists that not even the rainy season puts him off his number one love.
He said: “My friends and I play most nights after work. The rain sometimes stops play but we normally carry on. I would love to play more but have to work and take my girlfriend for dinner. She says I’m crazy because I play tennis so much.”
Anyone who has ever taken up the sport knows that it is a godsend to receive a helping hand to improve their game. Local tennis coach Minh Thanh, 53, said: “Tennis is like many sports in that the more you play the better you get. I have noticed in the last few years especially the numbers of people taking lessons has increased a lot.
“It is good business for me and I am always very happy to teach new students. Maybe one day Vietnam can produce a top-class player to inspire the younger generation to take up the sport.”
Lan Anh club also offers lessons for beginners and more advanced players. Its fees vary with times and levels with most local coaches fluent in English.
Lan Anh international tennis courts are based at 291 Cach Mang Thang Tam, District 10. Phone: +84 8 862 7144.
Three other popular tennis clubs in the city are located at Le Thi Rieng Park: 875 Cach Mang Thang Tam, District 10, Dai Bac Tennis Club: 1/3B Lien Tinh 15 - Nha Be District; Green Bamboo Club: 50/3 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, District 1.