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Rohan Gajjar upset in first round of ITF Men’s Futures

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Cambodia's Bun Kenny is back in action in the second ITF Men's Futures event today at the National Training Centre and will face fifth seeded Yuki Bhambri of India. Photo by: SRENG MENG SRUN

In yesterday’s action from the first round of the second US$15,000 ITF Men’s Futures tennis event at the National Training Centre, India’s Rohan Gajjar was the only seeded casualty, beaten 6-2, 6-3 by countryman Vijayant Malik.

Following on swiftly from Sunday’s historic finale of the Kingdom’s first ever international ranking tournament, the first four singles matches were completed during the morning session to mark the start of another memorable week for Cambodian tennis.

The top billed clash between sixth seeded Gajjar and compatriot Malik went against the world rankings. Gajjar, 535th on the world list, had no positive answers when it came to the court domination of his 800th ranked opponent. Beaten into submission by Danai Udomchoke’s threatening court presence in the quarterfinal of the first event, the 26-year-old was dealt a frustrating early exit this time out.

Meanwhile, two Japanese left handers found their way into the second round in contrasting fashion. Kento Takeuchi was stretched to his limits by Korea’s hard-working Cheong Eui Kim to emerge a 6-4, 6-4 victor. Arata Onozawa, however, had a relatively easy time against Liang Chi Huang of Taipei, winning 6-2, 6-3.

In the remaining match, Peng Chao of China proved too good for Sunu Wahyu Trijati of Indonesia with a 6-0, 6-3 rout.

The seeding for the second event had been given a shake up after 332nd ranked Karan Rastogi of India arrived here to compete this week following a second round exit from a Challenger event in Singapore. The talented Indian replaced last week’s top seed Vishnu Vardhan, who went down in the final to Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke in straight sets on Sunday.

“Karan’s entry raises the competitive candour and adds an exciting element to the second week,” said Tennis Federation of Cambodia Secretary General Tep Rithivit. “We are certainly disappointed that Danai is off to Melbourne on a prior commitment and is giving this event a miss, but Karan should be counted as an interesting addition.”

There was a buzz of excitement in the Cambodian camp after the 32-player draw was completed on Sunday. Bun Kenny has drawn a tough rival in India’s fast emerging talent and fifth seeded Yuki Bhambri in the first round, while Tan Nysan crosses swords with  Indonesian qualifier Sasongko Aditya Hari.

“We are highly encouraged by the first week results, and I feel both Bun Kenny and Tan Nysan did remarkably well against their well heeled rivals. I hope they extend this good work to the second week,” said national team head coach Braen Aneiros.

Bun Kenny will be among the first batch to take the court at 10am today, with Tan Nysan scheduled to play straight after.

A start was also made to the 16-player doubles event yesterday with eight matches carded for the day. In the absence of Danai Udomchoke, his title winning Thai partner Kittipong Wachiramanowong is now teaming up with Kento Takeuchi of Japan.

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