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Tennis players set for SEA Games

091203_23a
The Cambodian national tennis squad and coach pose for a team photo at the Cambodian Country Club Saturday. (From left to right) Ek Chamroeun, Cheng Chornay, Cheng Srey Pich, Orn Sambath, Bun Kenny, Tan Nysan and coach Braen Aneiros.

The Cambodian national tennis squad hopes to build on the success of the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand, where Tan Nysan grabbed a bronze, at next week’s tournament in Laos

Photo by: NICK SELLS (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
The Cambodian national tennis squad and coach pose for a team photo at the Cambodian Country Club Saturday. (From left to right) Ek Chamroeun, Cheng Chornay, Cheng Srey Pich, Orn Sambath, Bun Kenny, Tan Nysan and coach Braen Aneiros.

THE Cambodian national tennis team have been training hard this week ahead of their Saturday morning departure to Laos for the 25th SEA Games tournament. The players have been focusing on getting their preparations right for the event, and team morale is high, with eager anticipation of a thrilling week of competition.
Here are profiles of the team members and coach:

Name: Tan Nysan
Age in years: 20
Hometown: Paris
Years playing Tennis: 14
Achievements: Winner of the 2006 U18 Championships in France; bronze medal at the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand
Strengths: “I am good enough, and I will just try my best.”
Weakness: “I don’t know.”
Hopes for SEA Games: “We’ve worked hard. All members of the national team have had a good time with each other. We hope to win medals in both team and individual categories. Personally, I will try my best to win the gold medal in singles.”

Name: Orn Sambath
Age in years: 19
Hometown: Phnom Penh
Years playing Tennis: 5
Achievements: Singles silver medal at the 2007 ITF Asian Junior Championships in Pakistan; doubles gold medal at the 2008 ITF Asian Junior Championships in Bangladesh (with Khan Sophaon); second place in doubles at the 2008 Tep Khunnah Memorial Cup (with Khan Sophaon)
Strengths: “I’m good in receiving the ball.”
Weakness: “I’ve a problem with my left side and with volleys … but now I feel I’m improving a lot after training with the coach.… I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues, especially the ones coming from France.”
Hopes for SEA Games: “I think that I can do my best. I won’t be afraid of opponents. I’ll play with determination and try to bring home a medal.”

Name: Ek Chamroeun
Age in years: 14
Hometown: Phnom Penh
Years Playing Tennis: 4
Achievements: Fourth place at the 2006 Asian U16 Championship in Malaysia; second place at the 2008 Tep Khunnah Memorial Cup (U18); third place at the 2007 National Championships (U18); second place at the 2009 Cambodia Open (Men’s Singles).
Strengths: “I’m good on my right side, and in serving.”
Weakness: “My left side, especially for high shots and volleys.”
Hopes for SEA Games: “To be honest, I’m still very young and lack experience, but I’ll try my best.”

Name: Bun Kenny
Age in years: 19
Hometown: Paris, France
Years Playing Tennis: 14
Achievements: Quarterfinalist at the 2005 French Championship
Strengths: “I play at a high speed.”
Weakness: “I have a medical condition that is problematic. I cough very often, and it disturbs me while playing.”
Hopes for SEA Games: “It will be my first time at the SEA Games, but I’m here to win medals for the nation. I’ll try to get at least a bronze medal ... this is what I hope to achieve.”

Name: Braen Aneiros (national team coach)
Age in years: 26
Hometown: Panama City, Panama
Years Playing Tennis: 18
Years coaching professionally: 4
Achievements: Panama No 1 for 5 years; represented Panama in the Davis Cup; coached female Thai star Noppawan Lertcheewakarn to junior titles at the 2009 Wimbledon championship (singles and doubles) and 2009 French Open (doubles).
Hopes for SEA Games: “As a team, we can be very strong, and it would be great for Cambodia for us to win a medal in the team event. We’ve had very good training and preparation, but a lot depends on luck. The draw is crucial. If we get put against a top seed early on, it will be difficult to get a medal. I think our players need to compete as a team to give us our best chance for success.”

Female Cambodian team members Cheng Srey Pich and Cheng Chornay, who will also participate at the SEA Games, were too busy with studies to be interviewed.

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