South Korean tennis player Im Kyu-tae made his vast experience count as he got the measure of Cambodia’s Bun Kenny 6-2, 7-6 in the first round of the ITF Men’s Futures at Khon Kaen yesterday.
For the second time, Bun Kenny made the 32-player main draw through a wild card, but he could hardly reproduce last week’s touch when he picked up an ATP point against a player who was among the top 200 a couple of years ago.
The 30-year-old Korean, who holds a 205-128 career win-loss record, played the percentages far better and remained solid on his serves and ground strokes.
The first set was a breeze for Im as Bun Kenny lapsed into a string of unforced errors. In the second, the Cambodian wild card came into his own, forcing the pace and keeping his opponent on his toes. But when it came to pressure points, it was the Korean who handled them better.
“Kenny had his chances in many of the games during the second set. He simply could not take advantage of them,” National Coach Braen Aneiros, who was watching the action courtside, told The Post yesterday.
“The Korean was consistently good, but overall I think this has been the best two weeks for Bun Kenny.
“There is definitely a marked improvement in his psyche. He now believes that he can hold his own against tough players and there is now realisation on his part that he belongs to this kind of company.
“All he needs now is a couple of giant killing acts to boost his confidence,” added Aneiros.
Meanwhile, Bun Kenny’s teammate Tan Nysan was listless in his 6-0, 6-3 defeat by Indonesia’s Elbert Sie in the first round qualifier on Saturday.
“Nysan trained really well all week. Somehow he was not there mentally in the match,” said Aneiros, hinting that the double SEA Games bronze medal winner needs a couple of adjustments.
Both Bun Kenny and Tan Nysan will have to go through the qualifiers for the third Futures event at the same venue next week.