Top-seeded Bun Kenny blazed through his Cham Prasidh Tennis Cup men’s singles quarterfinals yesterday with the loss of just one game against Kan Sophon at the National Training Centre.
The Kingdom’s second ranked player, who has shut out his opponents in both of the two previous rounds, was in a punishing mood as he drove Sophon around the court with consistently sound ground strokes.
Bun Kenny’s day was made even more special with the news that Thai tennis officials had sent confirmation he would be given a wild card entry for the qualifiers of all three back-to-back Future events in Thailand, the first of which begins next week.
With second seeded Orn Sambath falling by the wayside in the second round, the attention was focussed on third seeded Sok Sambath and his quarterfinal contest against Yi Kirivak. However, it turned out to be a non-starter with Kirivak, who is nursing a troubled shoulder, informing the organisers that he could not compete. Sok Sambath thus received a place in the semifinals.
Leg cramps pulled back Ek Chamroeun in his see-saw battle against Pel Vanna. After winning the first set comfortably, Chamroeun idled in the second to allow Vanna to draw things level, but clawed his way back to a 3-0 lead in the deciding set. Chamroeun’s mind was willing to fight, but his legs simply couldn’t continue and as Vanna went 4-3 up, he threw in the towel.
Second round sensation Long Samneang, meanwhile, went out without a trace in his quarterfinal yesterday, squarely beaten 6-2, 6-3 by the vastly experienced Seang Mao.
In the junior competition, Mak Brandon was causing a buzz around the NTC. The 13-year-old lad, who has spent his formative years in the United States, has returned to his birthpace to pursue a career in tennis.
Watched by his tennis-loving father, who wants his son to develop his prowess here rather than in his home state of Washington, Brandon put out Arvin Mamhot 6-4, 6-3 in the men’s back draw.
“It doesnt matter if it is a back draw, I want him to take part in as many events as possible. The more he plays the better,” said Brandon’s father. Today will see the youngster in the U14 and U18 singles semifinals.