Playing smarter rather than harder, Tep Timothy (right) fashioned a 6-2,6-0 win over Klang Punlok to pick up his second boys under-14 singles title of the season at the end of the sixth and final national junior tennis tournament at the National Training Centre on Sunday.
In the newly introduced ATP Masters-style eight-player round robin-knockout format, Timothy, the son of Tennis Cambodia secretary-general Tep Rithivit and grandson of legendary late Tep Khunnah, upheld his family’s traditions by dominating his rival from the off.
As expected, Chheang Vannasak won the boys U18 singles event with ease, beating Chay Chen 6-0,6-0 in the final.
In an exacting boys U12 final. Leng Sarinreach defeated his nemesis Cheum Seyha 6-4,4-6,6-2 to end the season on a high. After Seyha bounced back in the second set to drive the finish to a decider, it was a battle of will over strength and Sarinreach came out on top.
Few in the U14 girls category can measure up to Hour Sreypov. She ended the year unbeaten with another impressive victory after working her way out of a rather sloppy start. Sreypov defeated Ho Sreynuch 5-3,4-1 after her first few services games were riddled with unforced errors and double faults. Once she found her usual rhythm, she was too good for her opponent.
In the girls U18 final, Cheng Channeang got the better of her sparring partner Ith Leakhena 7-6,6-2.
Only once this season has Leakhena turned the tables on her friend. Both are from Boeung Khyang Holy Babies Orphanage but have differing play styles, and it came to no one’s surprise that the more consistent of the two carried the day.
Unchallenged in her age group of 12 and under, Kim Vichika struck again, beating Leng Sreyphal 4-2, 5-3 in the final.
“We owe a big thanks to our sponsors, Coca-Cola Cambodia, Ezecom and Hagar restaurant. It was a great way to end the year and it would have been very tough without the help of our sponsors,” Tennis Cambodia’s head of junior development, Phalkun Mam, said yesterday.
The junior series involved six tournaments throughout the year and a Tennis U10s Festival to promote grassroots development was held a week before each of these tournaments.