Hopes of a more precious medal than bronze for Cambodia’s Bun Kenny were dashed on centre court at the Kallang Tennis Centre yesterday morning after Indonesia’s Susanto David overcame the Kingdom’s Davis Cup pivot in two contrasting sets 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) in the men’s singles quarterfinals.
Susanto will meet Sornbutnark Warit of Thailand in tomorrow’s final. Warit got the better of Jeson Patrombon of the Philippines 6-1,6-4 in the other semifinals.
The defeat left Kenny clutching a bronze medal, his first in the SEA Games since his debut for the country in Laos 2009, a venue where Cambodia had last won a tennis individual medal through Tan Nysan.
Kenny, however, played a lead role in winning a team bronze in Indonesia four years ago.
The 108-minute battle resolved itself into two distinctly different phases. The first was Susanto’s punishing mood in the 28-minute first set which he pocketed without much resistance from the other end.
But the second set was a totally different story with weird twists and turns. When Kenny dropped his serve at the start of the second set, it seemed an easy ride home for Susanto but it turned out to be not so simple.
Kenny broke right back, cashing in on a few Susanto errors and making it clear that he had put his game face on.
Kenny served out the third game to lead his Indonesian rival 2-1 for the first time in the match and then quickly built on the momentum by breaking Sustano again and confidently holding his serve to 15.
With the wind clearly behind him Kenny shot up to 15-40 on Sustano’s serve but failed to press home the advantage as the Indonesian grimly held on to make it 2-4.
The seventh game was a mixed one for Kenny who followed a double fault with an ace to get closer to the set at 5-2. After Sustano held his serve to sneak up to 3-5, a somewhat nervy Kenny serving for the set stumbled allowing the Indonesian to claw back to 4-5
The Indonesian levelled the game score after holding his serve, and it was in the crucial 11th game that the destiny of the contest was finally decided.
Two critical points went against Kenny and under that weight he dropped his serve. Though he managed to break back in time to force a tie-breaker at 6-6, it was obvious the Indonesian enjoyed the initiative, which showed in the first four points he won.
Another twist saw Kenny bounce back to 4-4 but from then on Susanto confidently took the next three points to polish off the contest.