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Cambodian hopes crushed

Tan Nysan of Cambodia hits a return against Indonesia’s Aditya Hari Sasongko during their ITF Men’s Futures first round match yesterday at the National Training Centre. Nysan lost the match 6-3, 7-5. Photo by: SRENG MENG SRUN

Cambodia’s competitive interest in the second US$15,000 ITF Men’s Futures tennis tournament ended on a disappointing note yesterday at the National Training Centre after first round exits by both Bun Kenny and Tan Nysan.

A prominent name in India’s fast emerging talent bank, fifth seeded Yuki Bhambri breezed through his encounter against Bun Kenny 6-2, 6-0, while a splendid second half rally by Tan Nysan proved ultimately inadequate to stop Indonesian qualifier Aditya Hari Sasongko from winning in straight sets 6-3, 7-5.

Bhambri’s amazing alacrity on court and his pinpoint accuracy on ground strokes apparently had a smothering effect on Bun Kenny, who was clearly unable to strike a rhythm that would hustle his rival.

“Kenny’s best chance was for him to play at his best and hope his opponent played below his, and that did not happen,” said national team head coach Braen Aneiros after the match.

After the scores were tied at 2-2 in the first set, the tide firmly turned Bhambri’s way, with the 18-year-old from New Dehli – one of the World’s best juniors last year – reeling off ten games on the trot to close out the match.

“It is always good to start in a fashion like this, but it is going to get a lot tougher in the next rounds,” said Bhambri.

“He played solidly well,” said Bun Kenny of his opponent.

Meanwhile, Tan Nysan struggled to get the desired percentages right on his serves, which are generally regarded as his best weapon.

The Cambodian is the type of a player who fearlessly goes for winners. Despite coming up with a few astounding shots, Nysan needed a lot more to unsettle Sasongko, who wisely cut down on unforced errors.

The first set turned on an early break for the Indonesian after Tan Nysan  dropped serve in a tight game that went to deuce twice. But at the start of the second, the two-time SEA Games bronze medallist for the Kingdom frittered away two game points to surrender the break Sasongko was so thankful to accept.

At 2-1 came a dramatic announcement from the chair umpire that Tan Nysan  had sought medical attention courtside for an apparent back spasm.

After a few minutes of treatment, Tan Nysan came roaring back into the match, levelling the scores at 4-4 and then 5-5.

But his brief fight back came to a screeching halt in the 11th game when he lost his serve after a flashy forehand had missed the line by inches and Sasongko then served out the match.

In other games yesterday, second seeded Vishnu Vardhan of India of had the Chinese qualifier Ouyang Bowen well within his sights in a contest he efficiently controlled to clinch 6-3, 6-3.

The tongue-twisting name of Siriluethaiwattana attracted huge attention after the Thai qualifier toppled fourth seeded Matsui Toshihide of Japan 6-4, 7-5.

Another seeded Thai, Kittipong Wachiramanowong, winner of the doubles event last week with Danai Udomchoke, was knocked out of the singles by strong-serving Russian lefthander Ervand Gasparyan 6-2, 6-4.

Third seeded Nikolaus Moser of Austria was right on cue with a 6-3,6-3 victory over Chuhan Wang of China, and Czech qualifier Jan Blecha was unsparing in his 6-2, 6-4 victory over Hsin-Han Lee of Taipei.

Indonesia’s Christopher Rungkat, who spent a few weeks training in Phnom Penh last year, had the measure of Japan’s Sekiguchi Shuichi 6-1, 6-3.

The last match of the day saw top-seeded Karan Rastogi warm up to his best after dropping the first set against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. The 332nd ranked Indian belted out the next two sets with comfort to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

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