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Kids fest at Beeline Arena marks World Tennis Day

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The Tennis Federation of Cambodia will celebrate World Tennis Day with a day-long Children’s Festival at Beeline Arena on Sunday. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia will join no fewer than 150 countries in celebrating the inaug-ural World Tennis Day next Monday to mark the Internat-ional Tennis Federation’s centen-ary of activity.

The Tennis Federation of Cambodia will organise an ITF-supported Children’s Festival at the Beeline Arena on Sunday, becoming  the first in Asia to commemorate this historic occasion.

The one-day festival is being sponsored by local restaurant chain The Blue Pumpkin and international bottled-water brand Aquafina.

“This is a great global event, and we take pride in going out first,” TFC secretary-general Tep Rithivit told the Post yesterday.

“The arena doors are wide open for every child and every parent in the country, and our aim is very simple: tennis for all, forever.

“We will set up 12 mini-courts for Tennis 10s, and every participant will get a chance to learn and play.

“Two of our national players, Bun Kenny and Long Samneang, will spend some court time with the  kids as well.

“And, as a novelty, at least two dozen kids will have their cheeks painted with the International Tennis Federation and Tennis Federation of Cambodia logos.”

The ITF is encouraging its 210 national associations to support World Tennis Day by holding grassroots programs and club activities to attract new participants to the game.

Tennis 10s, which stems from the ITF’s Tennis Play and Stay program, introduced in 2007, has been tail-ored for beginners who use smaller racquets, slower and lower-bouncing balls, a smaller court and mod-ified scoring.

Both these programs have contributed a great deal in boosting the game’s growth around the world.

Hong Kong will be the centre of attention in Asia on World Tennis Day.

A high-profile exhibition match between Li Na and Caroline Woz-   niacki will be staged at the city’s Asia World Arena, followed by a clash between tennis legends Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe.

But the most glamorous event of all will be the BNP Paribas Showdown, in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

It will feature the all-star match-ups of Rafael Nadal versus Juan Martin del Potro and Serena Will-iams versus Victoria Azarenka.

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