Ethan's 2nd ITF Junior title

Ethan Lye (right) with his silverware for winning his second International Tennis Federation Junior title in Hong Kong yesterday. The 16-year-old overcame Chinese Taipei's Tsai Chang-lin (left) 7-5, 6-2 at the Victoria Park Tennis Court.
Ethan Lye (right) with his silverware for winning his second International Tennis Federation Junior title in Hong Kong yesterday. The 16-year-old overcame Chinese Taipei's Tsai Chang-lin (left) 7-5, 6-2 at the Victoria Park Tennis Court.PHOTO COURTESY OF ETHAN LYE

Besides winning his second International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior title in Hong Kong yesterday, there was another reason for Ethan Lye to look back fondly at his outing. While he usually travels to overseas events with fellow Singaporean players Robin Cheng and Justin Oeni, or his mother Vera, the 16-year-old spent the last two tournament days alone.

He said: "They lost a bit earlier so they left early... It was pretty tough especially with the Hong Kong supporters during the semi-finals, but I managed to play my own game and play some good tennis."

He defeated Kai Wai Yu of Hong Kong 6-3, 6-2 in Friday's semi-finals. He then beat Tsai Chang-lin of Chinese Taipei 7-5, 6-2 in the final at the Victoria Park Tennis Court.

Ethan said: "My opponent is a pretty big guy, he hits really well so I was trying to make him move a lot and wear him down... I think it paid off in the second set."

While he hopes to improve on his strength and on developing a bigger serve, the Sydney-based, McDonald College Year 11 student was pleased with his performance.

"I thought I did well to try and figure out holes in my opponents' games and exposing them, as well as just handling myself with everything - like waking up on time and making sure I check out of the hotel without leaving anything behind," he said. "Normally my mum reminds me to do things here and there, but now I'm more of my own person and it's good that I've showed I can handle things myself.

"These are good learning points and it shows where I'm at with my maturity and how I handle myself on and off court."

He landed his first ITF Junior title last September in Sydney and said his second title was equally important. He added: "This is a good win for me, but it's still a small tournament in terms of the big leagues.

"Most of my friends are playing in the Australian Open junior tournament and that's what I'm looking to get to, hopefully by next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 21, 2018, with the headline 'Ethan's 2nd ITF Junior title'. Print Edition | Subscribe