After winning the first set tie-break, Cambodia’s Delton Sophana Kim was hit by cramps and struggled through the loss of the next before retiring from the contest against Thailand’s Thanapet Chanta in the second round of the qualifiers for the Chang ITF Juniors (Grade 4) in Bangkok late on Saturday evening.
Going out on to the court at 8:45pm local time, Delton got off to a flying start, racing to a 5-2 lead before his eighth-seeded Thai rival began to rally well back into contention, knotting up the game scores at six.
However, Delton won the tie-break without conceding a point.
The Cambodian teenager’s troubles began early in the second set with court fatigue slowing him down.
Though he managed to keep the fight going, it was obvious cramps would make matters worse for him.
Big heart won him the first game of the second set, but his legs refused to cooperate and he called it a halt at 6-7, 6-2, 0-1.
Earlier in the morning, Delton Kim won his first round qualifying match 6-7(7), 7-5, 6-3 against Michael Mathayomchand Another Cambodian entry, Vannasak Chheang also went out in the second round.
He lost 4-6, 6-4,6-1 to Thailand’s Thammarat Kamchai after winning his first round against another Thai player Ruttanon Jongvillaslak 3-6,6-4,6-4“Though it’s a bit of a disappointment that the boys could not finish with better results, there is no doubt that they fought, that they believed they could win, and that they will turn this experience into a very valuable lesson learnt.”
Tennis Cambodia’s head of junior development Phalkun Mam, who was with Delton Kim and Vannasak as their coach, told the Post yesterday.