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Stars hit Vietnam Futures

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Cambodia’s Davis Cup anchors Bun Kenny and Mam Panhara are keen on performing well in the US$10,000 ITF Men’s Futures tennis tournament beginning today at the Tanimex Tennis Club in Ho Chi Minh City.

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The first of three Futures events Vietnam will host this month has come at a crucial time for the Cambodian duo spearheading the 2012 Asia Oceania Group IV campaign in Doha from April 16 to 22.

“Kenny and Panhara are our top two singles players, and they need all the sharpening they can get in the next two weeks. I cannot think of a better opportunity for them than the Futures here in Vietnam,” national team coach Braen Aneiros, who is accompanying the players, told the Post yesterday.

Bun Kenny’s current world ranking of 1,192 has helped him to make the main draw, while Mam Panhara will get in as a wild card.

According to Cambodian team sources, two other members of the Davis Cup squad, Vetu Mam and Long Samneang, have not made the cut.

“The players have gone through a rigorous preparatory camp in Phnom Penh for the past three weeks and the two Vietnam Futures events in the next two weeks will definitely be helpful for their match-fitness,” said Tep Rithivit, Tennis Federation of Cambodia Secretary General and non-playing captain of the Davis Cup team.

“We are expecting good results from both Kenny and Panhara. In fact, Kenny won a regional prize money event in Vietnam last year called the Tanimex Cup. For Panhara it is a return to the circuit after a gap of nearly three years.”

The ITF Futures returns to Ho Chi Minh City after a gap of nearly 12 years.

Croatian Mario Ancic and Thai legend Paradorn Srichapan were among the Top 10 ATP players to have competed in the city’s Futures events in the early part of their careers.

To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at newsroom@phnompenhpost.com

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