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Cham Prasidh Cup capers

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Sok Sambath, seen playing in last year’s Cham Prasidh Cup, will take on Cambodian No 1 Bun Kenny in the men’s singles. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

Singapore Davis Cup team member Roy Hobbs, who goes out as second seed behind local hero Bun Kenny in the showpiece men’s singles event of the second Cham Prasidh Cup nat-ional ranking tennis tournament, arrived in Phnom Penh yesterday.

The 21-year-old right-hander, whose strength lies in his forehand, is ranked No 1 in the city-state and is out on the Futures circuit looking for his first ATP point.

His appearance in the Kingdom’s first major ranking tournament is part of an exchange programme, and he is likely to stay on for at least a week after the tournament to train with the Cambodian national team at the National Training Centre under head coach Braen Aneiros.

Hobbs has drawn Phnom Penh-based French national Lionel Lajous in the first round of the 16-player draw, to be played either tomorrow or Thursday. Top-seeded Bun Kenny will meet local player Sok Sambath.

Interestingly, Bun Kenny and Hobbs were in Jakarta for all three legs of the Indonesian Futures, which concluded last week.

Although Hobbs qualified for the first event before losing to eventual winner Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia, he failed to get through the qualifiers in the next two.

Bun Kenny made the main draw of all three, grabbing two crucial ATP points from the first after making the quarterfinals. He then lost in the first rounds of the next two events.

The boys’ U12 competitions rolled on over the weekend with Tep Timothy, who is looking for his third title in a row, easily topping his four-player group with three effortless wins. He will take on Sothy Vinit in the semi-finals, billed for Saturday.

The other semi will see Chheang Vanaseth, who emerged at the top of the five-player group B, meet Leng Sambath, who finished second behind Tep Timothy.

In the girls’ U12 section, Tea Heng May, also in line for her third straight victory, and Kim Dara, twice runner-up, topped their respective groups.  Tea Heng May is pitted against Sary Sodaney in the first semi and Kim Dara crosses paths with Seoun Sovanary.

The semifinalists have also been confirmed in the boys’ U18 class, with familiar names getting through.

Kan Sophon and Long Samneang, from Group A, and Orn Sambath and Ek Chamroeun, from Group B, made the grade.

With just four entries in the U14 boys’ singles, title favourite Doeum Sambath began his campaign with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Seoun Sothon. Although Sambath has to play two more matches in the group, Sokha Rathanak  pushed his claims for group honours with two good wins.

He downed Chheang Vanasak 7-6, 6-2 and beat Seoun Sothon for the loss of just a single game.

Meanwhile, the men’s B and C category singles got under way with Lionel Lajous stealing the thunder  in section B.

He scored a 7-5, 6-4 win over Christophe Forsinetti in the first round.

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