Update: 14:03 | 07/02/2019
Tennis player Thai Son Kwiatkowski, ATP world rank 275, will become a naturalized Vietnamese citizen to take part in the Southeast Asian Games later this year.
Kwiatkowski has a Vietnamese mother and a Polish-American father. The 1.88m American athlete is 23 years old.
After winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s singles title in 2017, he received a wild card to take part in the US Open main draw. He lost 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 3-6 to 23rd seed Mischance Zverev in the first round.
Thai Son Kwiatkowski is expected to compete at the 2019 SEA Games for the Vietnamese team.
Kwiatkowski took part in the Vietnam Open and was stopped in the semi-finals in early January.
Speaking with reporters after the tournament, he said that despite being born and raised in the US he would love to represent Vietnam if he had the chance.
Kwiatkowski took time to familiarise himself with the tournament system and seems ready to win the SEA Games gold medal for Vietnam for the first time.
Vietnam Tennis Federation President Nguyen Quoc Ky said the VTF had contacted Kwiatkowski and persuaded him to play for the country. He has good technique and a competitive spirit. The VTF is working on procedures to naturalize him.
He has signed a contract to play for HCM City in local tournaments.
The 30th SEA Games will be held in the Philippines from November 30 to December 11 this year.