Cambodia’s competitive interest in the ITF Junior tennis tournament ended at the qualifying stage as seeded players in the boys main draw held sway in the first round at the National Training Center yesterday.
Top seeded Christian Didier Chin of Malaysia was too good for Yusei Kosaka of Japan in his 6-1, 6-1 win, while second seeded Ali Mooraj of Pakistan got past Naufal Siddiq Kamaruzzaman of Malaysia 6-1, 6-2.
Sixth seeded Chang-Lin Tsai of Taipei was involved in a long drawn-out three set affair against Odeda Muhammad Arazza of Indonesia before winning 6-3, 3-6, 7-6.
Cambodia’s big pool of 10 players, nine boys and a girl, stumbled at the qualifying stage, although with a couple of matchups keenly contested.
Sam Davith from Koh Krabey was the first to be ousted, by Joshua Gunawan of Indonesia 6-0 6-2. This defeat was quickly followed by a Leap Sovannary loss, blanked out by Phuwish Lee of Thailand 6-0, 6-0.
Japan’s Atsushi Shibasaki beat the top player from Kep’s Aspeca Orphanage, Sen Sophon, 6-2, 6-0. Sophon was able to rally with Atsushi, but the Japanese left-hander was too consistent for the Cambodian’s comfort.
Chheang Vannasith fell to Malaysia’s Ahmad Farid Danial 6-1, 6-0. Being a big hitter, Danial never really gave Vannasith a chance to get any feel or rhythm.
Tep Timothy matched up against Japan’s Kyosuke Kiuchi and lost 6-2, 6-4. Although Timothy did not play outstanding tennis, he fought and made his Japanese counterpart work to beat him in the end, pushing the second set a little further than in the first.
With just two years of tennis behind them, Van Sear and Ye Kim Hoy from Siem Reap were unable to match their far more experienced rivals. Both of them lost in love sets, Van Sear going down to Matthew Garcia of the Philippines, and Kim Hoy losing to Le Khang Trung of Vietnam.
Ho Sreynoch, appearing in her second ITF Junior tournament, lost to Thailand’s Pimrada Jattavapornvanit 6-0, 6-0.
But by far the best performance among the Cambodian boys came from 14-year-old Leng Sarinreach, who battled hard against Tu Nhut Ngoc of Vietnam before going down 5-7, 3-6.