Again, thanks to Esther via the media team at Tashkent Challenger for providing this interview.
Rendy Lu Yen-Hsun of Chinese Taipei currently ranked 77 in the world and Asia’s second top player (after Kei Nishikori who is positioned at 66).
Once ranked as high as 69, Lu twisted his ankle last week, but now he is much fitter and raring to go at the Tashkent Challenger where he is seeded No 1.
The media team spoke to him about his aims, tennis in Asia and his preparations after he put out India’s Rohan Bopanna in a three set encounter 3-6,7-5,6-0.
Q: How has been the year for you so far?
Lu: It’s not bad, I played for my country at the Olympics, though I lost some points and the ranking, I have four more events two in Korea and two in Kazakhstan where I hope to make more points and get into the bigger event. Probably I’m looking at playing in more tour events from the beginning of next year. I had a twisted ankle last week, but I’m okay now and want to do well at the Tashkent Challenger.
Q: You are Asia’s topmost player, isn’t it lonely up there to be the only Asian?
Lu: (Laughs) What I can say that we have so many talented players in Asia who could be the top 100, may be 50, maybe even 10, but we players in Asia should higher goals for ourselves. Asian players are looking positive and are getting close. I surely wish there are more players in the top bracket this will do tennis in Asian countries a lot of good.
Q: What do you think is lacking in Asia?
Lu: I can tell you for my country, we should have more tournaments, so players can get points. We also need to have more professional trainers / coaches. We need quality than quantity.
Q: What about tour events Asia has four of them do you think it is enough?
Lu: ATP was talking to us players as they are also seeing potential and growth in the continent. We told them that Asia should have more events. As of now we have Four Tour events slotted in two weeks. They need to decide and separate the events, as Asian players are comfortable playing in the region due to the food, hotels, language and the people. If we can have four events in four weeks it will easy for Asian players rather than to miss two events.
Q: Coming back to your country the girls’ tennis is doing much better in terms of number of players you have in the rankings?
Lu: I agree that the women’ tennis results have been better; we have 2 players in top 100. The government is supporting us and now we have very good junior boys coming out of the country.
Also one has to remember Men’s tennis I much tougher that the women’s, but in the last 5 years men’s tennis has surely improved in our country. But like I said our federation should have more events for men’s.
Q: Your country is playing with Kazakhstan, but now they have many players who have come over from Russia in their team?
Lu: I know they have imported players in order to make their team strong, last time we defeated them, and I know this time will be tougher outing. Importing of players is also good sign for federations to make their respective team stronger.
Q: How are Asian’s doing compared to the Europeans in terms of fitness?
Lu: Now, everybody realizes importance of fitness and employ trainers on the tour. I’m more fit today than I was 2 or 3 years ago. I’m giving a lot of importance to my physical conditioning. Now when I play it’s a different feeling and feels much stronger. I feel in Asia we are still in a learning process, but we have to get there fast.
Q: What are your thoughts about the Tashkent Challenger?
Lu: It’s a good event, there are players from Europe and Asia have come together because of the geography of the country, as it in the middle of both continents. Also it’s a very strong event with top 4 of the 100 players and a lot of top 150 players from 24 countries participating. Also we have around 10 or 12 players who were earlier in the top 100 here. It’s a tough event for sure. There is great need to focus and fight out every match.
Q. How do you compare the Tashkent challenger to other events?
Lu: Compared to other challengers the tournament is really very nice, the hotel, the people, the courts, the organization is very nice and I have no complaints. I’m enjoying it and also hope to do well.