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Future bright as curtain falls on milestone year

As a milestone year for Cambodian Tennis goes into history books, there is lively anticipation of a better and brighter 2016 as excitement builds over the Kingdom’s possible entry to the Junior Davis Cup cycle.

The senior squad travels to Tehran in July for the Asia-Oceania Group III Campaign as Tennis Cambodia pursues its goal of preparing the colts for their debut in the junior version.

After a five-tournament junior domestic circuit, the year-ending Masters was put in place for the top eight players in each category last week, enabling the core group of players to be identified in every age bracket.

The proudest moment for the Federation came during the closing ceremony of the third and final leg of the ITF Men’s Futures series in the middle of December when secretary general Tep Rithivit hoisted a sign highlighting the magical figure of 10,000, the number of boys and girls drawn from all over the country now going through the most extensive grassroots development program.

“It is a logical conclusion that we should create for our developing players opportunities to get more regional and international exposure.

The participation of two female players in the WTA Futures Stars was a big step forward and the Junior Davis Cup will be another giant step for the boys,” Tennis Cambodia secretary general Tep Rithivit said.

Meanwhile, the year-ending Masters saw 15-year-old Tep Timothy (pictured, photo supplied) enhance his claim as a leading contender for the national junior squad by topping the under-18 category.

Timothy, who will be pursuing his tennis and education in Singapore, bounced back from 4-5 down in the first set to score a 7-6, 6-0 win over Chheang Vannasith in the final to end last year on a high.

In the under-14 category, 13-year-old Leng Sarinreach capped a year of consistent performances by claiming the title. He kept out one of his prime rivals, Khlang Punlok, who conceded the match due to a shoulder strain after losing the first set 3-6.

The two WTA Futures Stars candidates, Ho Sreynoch and Hour Sreypov proved far too strong for their rivals in the under-14 and under-18 categories respectively.

The 15-year-old Hour Sreypov celebrated another successful year, her second, graduating to the highest class by coming through the under-12s and 14s without defeat.

At under-12 level, Sam David among the boys and Tippi Dalle Grave in the girls extended their domination.

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