Cambodia’s top tennis player Bun Kenny sailed through the qualifying rounds of the second leg of the Indonesian F5 Futures event in Palembang over the weekend to earn a first round main draw face off yesterday with third seeded Karan Rastogi of India. Despite putting up a brave effort in the first set, Kenny was blown away in the second to lose 7-5, 6-0.
Kenny had already been acquainted with the Indian Davis Cupper during the second leg of the US$15,000 ITF Futures in Phnom Pehn early this year, an event Rastogi won with a measure of comfort.
The Cambodian, ranked 1,212 in the world, admitted it would be a tough match in the build up to his match. “Karan is currently ranked 327 and he has several tour victories to his credit in the Futures. I hope to do my best,” he told the Post before yesterday’s contest.
Kenny will be all the wiser for the experience of playing some one of Rastogi’s calibre on the hard courts of the Jakabaring Sport Complex as this is where the tennis events are scheduled to be held during the 2011 SEA Games from November 12-24.
“The feel of the courts and particularly playing someone as tough as Karan [is] a great help for Kenny when he gets back there next month,” Cambodia head coach Braen Aneiros said yesterday.
On the way to the main draw, Kenny was dealt a rather easy hand in the first round of the qualifier. He quickly built up a 5-2 lead over Indonesia’s Wisnu Adi Nugroho before the local lad was forced out of the contest due to some physical niggles.
Strangely enough, Kenny’s rival in the second round, Yi Chu-Huan of Taiwan, also retired from their match after two bitterly contested sets were shared. Kenny narrowly led 1-0 on the top of a 5-7, 7-5 scoreline when Yi Chu-Huan threw in the towel.