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Schipani steals the thunder; Srey Pov unstoppable

Michael Schipani makes a shot on the way to winning the Boys U14 title of the Junior Tennis Tournament
Michael Schipani makes a shot on the way to winning the Boys U14 title of the Junior Tennis Tournament at the National Tennis Centre. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Schipani steals the thunder; Srey Pov unstoppable

Belying her slender build Hour Sreypov is showing no signs of slowing down. The wonder girl from Boeung Khyang proved yet again that few of her peers can match her in consistency and court craft as she took the Girls U14 title at the expense of fast improving Daria Rakitina 4-2, 3-5, 5-1 in the fifth Junior Tennis Tournament at the National Tennis Center on Sunday.

Sreypov’s winning run began well over a year ago in the U12s, and this year she stepped up to the higher plain to extend that rich vein of form through the first four tournaments. Her fifth success this season and tenth overall came in a hard fought final in which Rakitina amply demonstrated that she could well be Sreypov’s fiercest rival in events to come.

The Boys U14 category produced a slew of upsets that included the early exit of defending champion Tep Timothy and top ranked Sen Sophon, the poster boy of Kep tennis, both falling to the guiles of the eventual winner Michael Schipani, who came back from a set down to beat Chen Samphors 6-7, 6-1, 6-2 in the final.

Even as Schipani, a student of ISPP, went on to record his first major triumph, Samphors in the other half of the draw scored notable wins over well established players like Chheang Vannasith in the quarter finals and previous winner Khlang Ponlok in the semis.

The Boys and Girls U18 divisions took a predictable course with favourites Chheang Vannasak and Cheng Chhaneang winning the titles respectively.

Vannasak was too overbearing for Soeun Sothol’s comfort in a 6-0, 6-1 rout in the Boys final while Chhaneang easily accounted for her close friend Ith Leakhana 6-1, 6-1. Only once this year has Leakhana beaten her practice partner.

Heat of the battle got to Cheum Seyha in the Boys U12 Flight A final, leaving him with cramps and fatigue to contend with apart from a determined Leng Sarinreach.

Seyha led 4-1 in both the sets only to see Sarinreach fight his way back to win 7-6, 6-4.

Meanwhile, the Flight B section saw the rise of Tep Lancelot, son of Tennis Cambodia secretary general Tep Rithivit, as a promising prospect. Taking part in his first big competition, Lancelot made it to the final before going down 6-1, 6-1 to Nel Samnang.

Kim Vichika from the Sunrise Orphanage defeated Nam Sopheaktra representing the Koh Krabei Holy Babies Orphanage in the Girls U12 event final. Vichika dominated her rival to emerge as a 4-1, 4-1 winner.


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