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Mr Daovone Phachanthavong plays tennis during his free time at Vientiane Tennis Club.

Opportunities and challenges for development of tennis in Laos

The Lao Tennis Federation on Friday highlighted opportunities and challenges, including the lack of sponsors, related to the development of the sport in the country.
The President of the Lao Tennis Federation, Mr Daovone Phachanthavong, told Vientiane Times that tennis in Laos has developed to some extent because of support from the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
As a member of the ITF, Laos’ tennis players have been invited to compete on the global stage and this has contributed to enhancing the country’s profile in the international arena.
In October 2022, four Lao tennis players took part in the Davis Cup – the first time Laos competed in this prestigious international event, with matches played in Bahrain. In other international events, four women tennis players from Laos took part in the Billie Jean King Cup in Malaysia in August 2022.
“We are honoured to see Lao tennis players competing on the international stage and pleased to know that the Lao flag has been seen by tennis fans around the world,” Mr Daovone said.
“At the level of Asean countries, our tennis players have competed and won against several opponents, particularly those from Cambodia and Myanmar. Our tennis player won a bronze medal at the SEA Games in Vietnam in 2022. This medal was a great encouragement to further develop tennis in Laos.”
Mr Daovone said the Vientiane Tennis Club has been improved since 2015, with necessary facilities being provided to players. This club has become increasingly popular among businesspeople, international tourists, expatriates and retired members of the Lao diaspora living overseas. The private sector has also been involved in the development of tennis, and a number of tennis clubs have been established in Vientiane and the provinces of Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Champassak.
One of the main challenges for tennis in Laos is the lack of sponsors to support players who want to compete internationally.
Mr Daovone said a lot of money is required to play this sport and to compete in regional and international events. 
Asked if tennis events can help attract foreign tourists to Laos, Mr Daovone said the sport can entice holiday makers to the country but all sectors need to work together to organise such events and develop the sector.
Another challenge is that some provinces with tourist hotspots still do not have tennis clubs to attract foreign tourists. Some players do not just want to play tennis in Laos, and they also want to visit tourist attractions, he said. 
Mr Daovone said the Lao Tennis Federation has tried to create opportunities for young players to develop their professional skills and become national-level sportspersons. This will enable them to play in regional and international tennis events.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update September 18, 2023)

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