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Lucas ousts Ek Chamroeun

Local tennis player Ek Chamroeun (left) was edged out by American Peter Lucas (right) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 in their second round match of the 2010 Cambodian Open tennis tournament at National Training Centre yesterday. SRENG MENG SRUN

IN an enduring baseline battle lasting well over two hours yesterday at the National Training Centre, Siem Reap-based American Peter Lucas put his college tennis experience to good use in wearing down former national team player Ek Chamroeun 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 to move into the third round of the 2010 Cambodian Open tennis championship.

The American’s assurance on vital points earned him a crucial break in the first set of quickly changing patterns, but a superb rearguard by the Cambodian youngster saw him storming back into the contest with a highly volatile second set. The two stayed close to each other, until Lucas finally settled the argument by means of a nail-biting third set tie-break.

Another national team player Orn Sambath had to work harder than he might have expected to outclass Rai Mindo 6-3, 6-2 in a contest that pitched youth against experience in their third round clash yesterday.

Matches scheduled around noon, including the Sambath-Mindo one, were disrupted by a sudden, sharp shower. But once the rain had relented and an enthusiastic bunch of young players helped sweep away the puddles with specially made brooms, Sambath had a taste of the tenacity across the net from Mindo in a closely fought first set. Sambath’s superior court coverage, however, was a notable plus for the youngster as he steadily wore down his opponent in a match that lasted little over an hour.

The eagerly awaited appearance of an Estonian junior on court turned out to be a non event, as left handed Henrik Raag was handed out a win without hitting a ball. His veteran opponent Chheng Sovan was not so keen on putting his troubled lower back to the test against the talented visitor and pulled out. The Estonian lad’s coach Priit Pihl, meanwhile, displayed his prowess with an effortless 6-0, 6-0 shutout of Martin Regis, whose first round win at 6-7, 6-1, 6-0 over Kim Sovanaphally was one of the picks of the action on Saturday.

Another Estonian junior, 15-year-old Markus Kerner who stands nearly two metres tall, has joined coach Pihl and compatriot Raag for some training sessions at the NTC. However, the lithe and lissome framed youngster, who made the recent final of the Betamex Cup in Vietnam, has declined a place in the Cambodian Open, instead deciding to participate in a Grade Two ITF junior event in Thailand midweek.

Cambodian No 1 Bun Kenny breezed through his first round match Saturday without dropping a game against Vatanak Lav. The third ranked Seang Mao overturned a first set loss to come out with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-0 victory over Doem Somphearun.

Other results on Saturday included expat player Damien’s 6-0, 6-0 drubbing of Dustin Fauth, Our Sarith beating Kosal Sak 6-2, 6-3, Neang Thearith trashing Chan Chavirak 6-1, 6-0, Rai Mindo edging out Ey Sana 6-1, 7-5, Chris Forsinetti retiring to gift Orn Sambath victory, and Long Samneang hammering Jamie Kinsman 6-0, 6-0.



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