Aussie tennis star breaks down in tears after dedicating maiden tour title to late mother
Australian tennis star Li Tu claimed his maiden ATP Challenger tour title in Seoul, Korea over the weekend.
It was a title he dedicated to his late mother who he lost to cancer in late September.
The Australian surged over 100 places in the world ranking with the title, beating the likes of fellow Aussies Christopher O’Connell and James Duckworth along the way.
It was the culmination of an emotional past few months, a journey that Tu opened up about on social media.
He revealed that he only continued training for the tournament after his mother had convinced him that she was ‘getting better’.
Tu heartbreakingly travelled to Korea the day after her funeral.
He had delivered an emotional eulogy before flying out the next morning.
He wrote on social media: “Today is your birthday Mum.
“It has been the toughest 2 months of my life.
“Watching you battle cancer, struggle and fight every day as you slowly lost your senses.
“Continuing tennis training because you were relentless that I must keep going and you are ‘getting better’.
“Being by your side as you took your last breath on 24/09/22 surrounded by our family who love you so much.”
Tu revealed that his mother had told him she’d be in Seoul with him for the tournament, just days before she passed.
He continued: “A few days before you passed, you said to me ‘I’ll see you in Korea’ and I broke down in tears.
“Coming over to Korea the day after your funeral, I wasn’t sure I could do it but before every match,
“I looked up at the sky and I couldn’t help but smile when I saw you.”
He signed off the post with an incredibly heart-wrenching message.
Adding: “We did it Mum.”
The likes of Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Mark Mark Philippoussis, Rennae Stubbs and Daria and Luke Saville sent their love to Tu in replying to the post.
The 26-year-old defeated China’s Wu Yibing in the final of the Challenger’s Cup before dropping to the court and kissing his wrist.
He told The First Serve: “To be able to do it the day before her birthday was just incredibly, incredibly special.
“One of the best memories I’ve had.”
Featured Image Credit: tennisaustralia/Instagram. tuballz/Instagram.
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