A break of his serve in the seventh game of the first set was just the kind of spur top seed Johan Sebastien Tatlot needed to up the ante and the French youngster turned that rage into positive energy to oust China’s Ouyang Bowen 6-4, 6-2 to make the semi-finals of the $10,000 ITF Cambodian Futures for the GLF Open at the National Tennis Center yesterday.
Joining Tatlot in the round of four were third seeded Karunuday Singh of India, fourth seeded Lim Young Kyu of South Korea and his fellow countryman Kim Seong-Kwan.
In today’s showdowns for a place in the final, Tatlot, winner of two Futures events in Europe this year, will take on Lim while Singh will square off against Kim.
Eighth seeded Ouyang got off to a confident start matching stride-for-stride with Tatlot. After the first six games went on serves, the Chinese left-hander broke through to lead 4-3 only to hit the buffer he could have hardly expected.
The 18-year-old French junior champion opened his broad shoulders out to come up with some amazing winners that completely pushed Ouyang to the shadows.
In an all-Korean affair, fourth seeded Lim got the measure of Kim Young Seok 7-5, 6-4. Lim’s greater consistency and court coverage carried the day.
The surprise package of the day was delivered by unseeded Kim Seong Kwan, who prevailed over Russia’s Alexander Igoshin 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
The match took a curious turn at 4-4 in the second set after the Russian had grabbed the first. Kim made a crucial breakthrough to level the set scores.
After the first two games in the decider had been shared, Igoshin was beginning to show signs of physical strain and even sought brief medical help by the court side. It was apparent that the Russian was beginning to lose focus as also his cool and some of his actions borne out of sheer frustration only helped his opponent pick up some easy points on the way to a victory that had seemed improbable for nearly one and a half sets.
India’s Karunuday Singh was forced to fight a three-set battle for the second time this week. After a somewhat patchy performance in the first set which he eventually dropped to Song Min Kyu of South Korea, the Indian regained his poise and assurance to close out the contest at 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.