Cambodia’s Davis Cup tennis pivot Bun Kenny left Phnom Penh yesterday morning for three ITF Futures events in Sri Lanka ahead of the Kingdom’s Asia/Oceania Group III campaign in Malaysia during the week commencing March 23.
The International Tennis Federation, the world’s governing body, has confirmed the hard courts of Kompleks Tennis Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur as the venue for the Group III competition involving Cambodia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkmenistan.
Cambodia retained its Group Status in the 2014 cycle held in Tehran after performing a similar feat in Dubai the previous year following its spectacular 2012 all-win Group IV debut success in Doha.
“In the past two seasons we have stayed firm in Group III after our first appearance in Doha. Our top priority in Kuala Lumpur will be to retain our ground and a promotion to Group II will be a big bonus’’ secretary-general of Tennis Cambodia, Tep Rithivit, who has led the team as nonplaying captain in all three previous campaigns told the Post yesterday.
"This is a hugely significant year for Cambodian Tennis. Apart from the Davis Cup, we are eagerly looking forward to the SEA Games in Singapore, terribly disappointed as we were when Myanmar dropped tennis from the 2013 edition," Tep Rithivit said.
Kenny’s three-week trip to Colombo has been prompted by two main objectives. The first is to give him much desired match-practice at the highest level possible to sharpen him up for the mission to Kuala Lumpur.
The second is to help him pick up a couple of ATP points and regain his world ranking he has slid out of in the last year and a half.
“To have a world ranked player on the team is a big advantage in the SEA Games because it is a factor in the seeding process,’’ Tennis Cambodia’s secretary-general pointed out.
The 24-year-old Cambodian right hander was on the verge of breaking the 1,000 ranking barrier in early 2013 after he had accumulated 10 ranking points since his first in late 2010 at one of the Laos Futures. However, from that high Kenny has gradually slipped out of the rankings.
Kenny has to go through the qualifiers during the first week of competition in Sri Lanka but is likely to get a wild card to the main draw for the second event and his plans for the third week, however, are not yet clear. “This trip could not have come at a better time. I am quite keen to do well in Colombo and hopefully get a couple of ranking points,’’ Kenny told the Post before his departure.