Perfect AIMS return for expat tennis star

By Keri Welham

Former Chinese age-group champion Vivian Jang has captured the attention of the New Zealand tennis scene with a swift, straight-sets victory in the Anchor AIMS Games girls’ singles final.

The Kiwi-born tennis sensation moved to Tianjin, China, as a baby. She¬†began playing tennis at five and held Chinese U10 and U12 titles. Jang, 12, returned to New Zealand in January this year to attend North Cross Intermediate and pursue her tennis dreams. Jang’s mother Elaine Xhang said her daughter’s former coach was disappointed to lose such a promising player.

“Her Chinese coach was very sad.”

Xhang said her daughter never complained about training and the family was “very excited” with today’s win.

Jang said the AIMS tournament was tiring and the 6-1, 6-2 finals result didn’t accurately reflect how challenging her match was against St Cuthbert’s College’s Sasha Situe. Jang played five matches in three days.

AIMS tennis coordinator Karen Hampton said 48 girls and 56 boys qualified, via their national rankings, to play in this year’s tournament. Christoph Grant from St Kentigern Boys’ School won the boys’ singles final in straight sets – 6-1, 6-2 – against Finn Emslie-Robson from Cobham Intermediate.

The doubles finals are due to be played tomorrow.