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Boys book final berths

Orn Sambath’s ITF Circuit experience in Vietnam a few weeks ago came in handy yesterday at the National Training Centre, as the promising young local dug deep into his reserves to eke out a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Kan Sophon and book a place in the U18 singles final of the Cambodian Open.

In the bottom half of the draw, Ek Chamroeun easily handled a late surge by Long Samneang to close out a match of earned points 6-2, 7-5 to set up tomorrow’s final showdown with Orn Sambath.

It was a mixed bag yesterday for Kan Sophon in a highly combative first set, but when a few crucial points went his way he quickly took charge to steal a vital one-set lead. Midway through the second set, Orn Sambath came into his own and touched his best to draw level before catching the wind of revival and coasting to victory in the decider.

Long before Samneang could settle down to a pace of his liking in the other semifinal, Ek Chamroeun had already grabbed the first set. But the second set saw Samneang handling the pressure a lot better, until his opponent came charging back to polish the match off when prospects of the set going to a tie-break seemed real.

Meanwhile, Estonian junior Henrik Raag seemed to be in a tearing hurry to get through his men’s singles third-round match, as he handed out a double love-set defeat to Cedric Debiolley in their delayed encounter. The 17-year-old left-hander, seeded second here, was in no mood to drop points let alone a game, and will take on Long Samneang in the quarterfinals today.

Two other men’s singles quarterfinal matches, Bun Kenny against Peter Lucas and Orn Sambath versus Seang Mao will be played tomorrow.

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