Posted on 7th October 2023
By RJ Mitchell
NHAT NGUYEN has dismissed any suggestions that his top billing in the Scottish Open Men’s Singles could weigh heavily.
The Irishman dispatched Spain’s Luis Enrique Penalver 21-13, 21-14 in this morning’s quarter final and will face India’s Sanker Muthusamy Subramanian later in the day for a place in Sunday’s final.
Yet after having reached a career high of World No.25 last December, Nguyen decided to recalibrate his game and as such he says that right now results aren’t the be all and end all.
He explained: “I’m more satisfied with that performance than I was yesterday. To be honest I am a bit rusty as I’ve stepped away from tournaments to focus on practising and working on my game and getting the basics right.
“This is the approach I need to take now as the approach I took previously just wasn’t going to get me where I want to get.
“So it has been a big change. My prime should be in front of me and it is about being brave to achieve that.”
Yet there is no doubt that when you watch Nguyen he is the real deal. Explosive in the air overhead, deft touches and flicks around the net and, of course, soft shock absorbing mits.
While his dynamic movement meant that whatever question Spain’s Penalver, a fine player in his own right, posed, the Irish No.1 had the joker waiting.
However for Nguyen the present is all about finding a way to a brighter future – possibly inside the top-20 and he said: “I think I am still in the developmental stage. I made the top-25 in the world but I realised that for me to take the next step I needed to take a step back and that is where I’m at now.
“I am out of the top-32 now (world No.38) and for me the process is to develop my game, so results are not what it is about, win or lose doesn’t matter.
“So I am pleased with that win and ready to go again when I play Subramanian in the semis but my focus there will be on performance and the rest can take care of itself.”