THE Cambodian tennis federation suffered a huge disappointment Thursday morning, when both their men’s and women’s team saw their medal hopes ended in the team events by losses in their quarterfinals matches. The men’s team took a 2-0 savaging by Indonesia on the tennis courts of the National Sports Complex in Vientiane, while the women were also dispatched 2-0 by opponents Malaysia.
20-year-old Tan Nysan, the Cambodian No 1 and bronze medallist in singles at the 2007 SEA Games, pushed hard but succumbed 4-6, 4-6 to Indonesian star Christopher Rungkat, who has a half-Cambodian mother. Teammate Bun Kenny was outclassed by Indonesia’s Sunu Wahyu Trijati 0-6, 1-6, to deny a third match doubles rubber to decide the tie.
Meanwhile in the women’s event, Cheng Chornay was unfortunate to lose a close match with Malaysia’s Neesha Thirumalaichelvam 4-6, 5-7.
However, luck had little to do with the demolition of older sister Cheng Srey Pich, who took away “double bagels” (she lost 6-0, 6-0) from her match against Jawairiah Noordin.
The players were too distraught for comment, but assistant coach Yi Sarin noted that Tan Nysan had pressured his opponent well, but didn’t really stand a chance against Rungkat. The coach also applauded the efforts of Cheng Chornay, whom he said started well, “but her rival knew her weakness by playing the high ball. Both girls need more training”, expressed Yi Sarin. The team now have their schedules clear to concentrate on preparation for the singles and doubles competitions which start Sunday.
For the men’s team semifinals today, Vietnam face favourites Thailand – who received a bye into the second round – while Indonesia meet the Philippines. Meanwhile, the women’s team event sees the Philippines face Thailand – again with a bye into the semifinals – and Malaysia take on Indonesia. Finals for both team divisions are on Saturday.