Cambodia’s much-anticipated debut in the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup may not have achieved the fairytale ending the Kingdom was hoping for, but after five days of rigorous competition the girls scored the biggest positive from this historic trip to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo by winning their first three-rubber contest against Iraq in the back end of the draw yesterday.
Seizing the moment was Hour Sreypov, who won her second singles match against Abdul Razzaq Jinan 6-3, 6-1 to put Cambodia on the path to victory after Ho Sreynoch, clearly drained of energy, had lost the opening singles 2-6, 2-6 to Kavok Sevi.
Going into the tournament, Sreypov was somewhat under-trained, unable as she was to get longer sessions. Yet it came as no surprise that she managed to lift her game in bits and pieces with every passing match, and deservedly ended with back-to-back wins.
Of greater significance for Cambodia was the doubles victory Hour Sreypov and Ho Sreynoch pulled off, their first ever on the international stage. Combining effectively, the Cambodian pair downed Al Luhaibi Nabaa and Kavok Sevi 6-0, 6-4.
“It was heartening to see the girls pick up this crucial win. From the outset our thrust had always been for players to keep fighting no matter what the results were.
To a large extent we achieved this goal. Both the boys and girls teams have come away with positive learning experiences as they continue their development,” non-playing captain and coach Phalkun Mam said.
It was another cheerless outcome for the boys as Cambodia went down 3-0 to Saudi Arabia. Chheang Vannasith simply could not lift his game to the level he had touched the previous day with the result that Alzayer Hussain had him cornered 6-3, 6-2.
After soaking up the pressure of playing as No1 over the past five days, Tep Timothy was not at his physical best as he ran into Akash Yassen Abdullah, who was a bundle of energy on the court.
Given the circumstances, Timothy did what he possibly could but it was not nearly enough to contain a player who was in no mood to concede even one game to his rival.
Though Timothy regained some of his poise and energy in the doubles alongside Khleang Punlok, the Cambodian pair, despite playing the best doubles of the week, were beaten 2-6, 5-7 by Akash Yassen Abdullah and Abdulaziz Hussam Albayouk.