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 Sports

Christian working on improving clay-court game

7th June, 2018

By UMESH RAJAN

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s tennis prince, Christian Didier Chin vows to come back stronger after failing to qualify for the anticipated Roland Garros Junior French Open earlier in the month.

The 17-year-old was forced to play in the qualifying draw of the second Junior Grand Slam of the year after his International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior World Ranking dropped outside of the main draw cut.

Christian suffered a dip in form, especially in his singles matches in recent months and it got worse when he was convincingly defeated by American junior, Tyler Zink, 2-6, 1-6 in the first round of the qualifying draw on June 1.

Since then, the former junior world number 44 slipped to number 122 recently after having trouble playing on the clay courts, where he suffered back-to-back first round losses in Santa Croce (Grade 1) and Milan (Grade A) back in May.

Christian is currently undergoing training in Germany to sharpen his clay-court skills as he needs to improve his ranking back into the top 60 to have a chance of securing a spot at the Wimbledon Juniors qualifiers, next month. When contacted, Christian’s father-cum-manager, Christopher Chin stated that he has arrived at the Schuttler-Waske Tennis University in Offenbach, run by former touring pros Alexander Waske and Rainer Schuttler, and will be based in Germany until the end of the month.

“Christian will have the chance to gain much needed points to improve his ranking as he is set to compete in three ITF Grade 1 tournaments while in Germany this month namely, in Offenbach, Berlin and Gladbeck,” he said.

Christopher said that the recent run of poor results by Christian was due to a lack of proper preparation leading to his poor showing on clay courts.

“Roland Garros was his first experience in a junior Grand Slam on clay. He should have started preparing a month before heading to Europe, but this was not possible as there are no clay courts at the National Tennis Centre (Jalan Duta) or anywhere else in Malaysia.

“The national system is also not equipped with adequate coaching expertise to develop players on clay, which forms a substantial part of the season on the tour.

“This is why we have decided to send him to train in Offenbach at the Shuttler-Waske Academy to allow him to fine tune his game on the surface and gain more experience at such an early stage in his career,” he said.

Christian will begin his grass-court season at Roehampton (Grade 1) in the United Kingdom from July 1-7, before proceeding to Wimbledon if he is able to improve on his ranking and make the cut.

   
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