Young player finds inspiration after competing in overseas tournaments
Up-and-coming tennis star Kelvin Lam Siu-fai returned from a five-week European Tour a more determined player.
The young ace was the only member of the Asian team selected from Hong Kong, thanks to some outstanding performances earlier this year.
He joined top under-14s from around the world on the International Tennis Federation's (ITF) annual European tour.
The tour involved training sessions and tournaments spread across France, Belgium, Holland and Germany in July and last month.
Kelvin achieved his best result in the opening tournament, the BNP Paribas Cup in Paris, France.
He teamed up with Nadya Syarifah from Indonesia to reach the mixed doubles final before losing to the Latvia-Montenegro pairing of Lukas Mugevicius and Danka Kovinic, 6-2, 6-4.
However, the young player left the French capital with the BNP Paribas Cup's Fair Play Award.
After playing in five events in Europe, Kelvin earned 60 European Tennis Association ranking points, which earned him a place in the Tennis Europe Under-14 rankings.
The latest rankings, announced last week, placed him at 318.
The young ace really enjoyed his time overseas; although he worried he would feel homesick.
'I thought it would be tough for me to be alone for five weeks. However, I had a really great time there. I stayed with my teammates the whole time and they became like my brothers and sisters.
'I made lots of friends from all over Europe and South America. Now I am back, I miss them a lot,' he said.
Playing in Europe also helped Kelvin to improve his game. Hong Kong typically has hard court, not clay, surfaces.
'I spent five weeks on clay and it helped me to improve my shot selections and tactics.
'I think it helped my game to become more creative because clay is a slow surface and you need to create opportunities for a win by executing a game plan.'