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Kingdom’s starlets fall into elimination draw

The Cambodian boys were dealt identical 3-0 defeats by Lebanon and Turkmenistan in the Junior Davis Cup Asia/Oceania pre-qualifying event in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Sunday.

But the saving grace for the Kingdom was a fighting display by the girls in their 2-1 defeat by Oman in which Ho Sreynoch won the first singles match and Hour Sreypov was narrowly beaten in a tense three-setter before the Cambodian pair lost in doubles rubber.

Having lost all three ties, Cambodia will now slip out of pool play and enter a final bottom-bracket draw consisting of teams that were similarly placed in their respective groups.

The bracket play is single elimination, so Cambodia’s match with Bhutan yesterday was to be of crucial importance,Non-playing captain Phalkun Mam named Chheang Vannasith as the No2 choice in place of Khleang Punlok for the opening singles rubber against Turkmenistan.

But the inexperienced Vannasith could do nothing right against Arslan Orashev, who swept the match 6-0, 6-0Turkmenistan wrapped it up in the second singles when Andrey Kashenko outclassed Tep Timothy 6-0, 6-3,
In the doubles, Arslan Orashev and Sary Annayev defeated Chheang Vannasith and Tep Timothy 6-4, 6-0.

For the final pool tie against Lebanon, Phalkun Mam brought Khleang Punlok back to open the singles challenge without much success.

It was a pronouced struggle for Punlok as Karl Berberian dominated the clay court on which his Cambodian rival was clearly out of sorts. The well-built Lebanese took the match 6-0, 6-1.

Roy Tabet overwhelmed Tep Timothy in the first set, winning it 6-1 despite some of the games being close.

Timothy showed better fighting spirit in the second, getting up to 4-4 and then 5-5. But a couple of break points he missed proved crucial as Tabet handled the pressure well to take the set 7-5.

The doubles was a one-way street with Karl Berberian and Daniel Nammour blanking out Chheang Vanna-sith and Khleang Punlok 6-0, 6-0.

Girls fight on
Ho Sreynoch created history of sorts by winning the first singles rubber for Cambodia in the Junior Fed Cup after she outsmarted Aisha Al Suleimani 6-2, 6-3.

With the mood in the Cambodian camp lifted, Hour Sreypov faced Maryam Al Balushi and raced away with the first set 6-3.

But at the start of the second set, Balushi began to tidy up her game and quickly knotted up the set scores by winning the second 6-1.

It was a seesaw battle in the third before Oman clinched the second singles with Balushi completing a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 win.

The tie-deciding doubles went in favour of Oman with Al Suleimani and Balushi winning 6-3, 6-4.

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