Thailand has become the latest country to qualify for the WTA Future Stars event, that is held in conjunction with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Punnin Kovapitukted will represent Thailand in the U14 category, while Thasaporn Naklo, the inaugural U14 champion last year, will be participating in the U16 event.
Kovapitukted is just 12 years old and plays left-handed. She admires Simona Halep, who will be playing in the WTA Finals for the second consecutive year, because "she is small-sized and very strong." She relaxes after playing tennis by reading and aims to be in the Top 10 one day. Her family has a tennis court and they all play the game. She's excited to represent Thailand at the WTA Future Stars and aims to repeat the success of Thasaporn Naklo, who won the entire U14 event last year.
Naklo, 14, returns to Singapore this year after winning Thailand's regional qualifying event. While winning the WTA Future Stars event is a career highlight, Naklo has been busy playing in International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior tournaments and is currently ranked No.371 in the world rankings. She also admires Halep, as they both played the WTA Finals last year, and hopes to participate in Grand Slams one day. She enjoys listening to music to relax her off of the court and says she first started playing tennis for exercise, before falling in love with the game.
The Future Stars program features competition for young girls across the Asia-Pacific region with a vision to promote high-level athlete development, health, fitness and empowerment of women through tennis. Eighteen markets in the Asia-Pacific were invited to take part in the 2015 WTA Future Stars program, hosting Under 14 and Under 16 qualifying events in the hopes of sending their best young players to Singapore. Continue to check WTAFinals.com for more updates on the WTA Future Stars program.