The Tennis Federation of Cambodia (TFC) reckons the ensuing three back-to-back-to back ITF Men’s US$10,000 Futures events, which Phnom Penh will be staging from November 19 to December 9, could be a tipping point.
“These Futures may well define our own future. We are leaving no stone unturned in our organisational effort to make these events a memorable experience for over 100 players from 25 countries we are expecting during those three weeks,” TFC Secretary-General Tep Rithivit told the Post yesterday.
“The Cambodian Futures will excite international players, energise our own young hopefuls and most definitely enthrall spectators.
“The benefit for the Cambodian Tennis community is immeasurable. The country has now become part of the international calendar, which beckons us to step it up to the next level – the Challengers and to the next ATP tour event,” added Tep Rithivit.
The running costs including prize funds for the three events are expected to be in the region of $60,000, and the TFC is now enlisting the support of the local businesses and corporations to ease the burden on its limited resources.
“I have to say, we at the TFC are blessed when it comes to partnerships and sponsorships so far. We are thankful for the steadfast support,” said the secretary. “What we are looking for with the Futures this time is involvement of private sector and business communities within Cambodia.”
Tep Rithivit also pointed out that the Kingdom experienced a tremendous bounce from the first set of $15,000 Futures events in January 2011, months before Cambodia earned a B-class membership to the International Tennis Federation during their Annual General Meeting in Bangkok.
That elevation as a voting member led to Cambodia’s impending Davis Cup entry, and the country swept to a sensational five-match winning streak in Doha, Qatar, in April this year to jump from Group IV to next year’s Group III.
Entertainment and gaming industry giants NagaWorld wholly sponsored Cambodia’s mission to Doha.
As many as 50 players of 12 nationalities have already registered for the Cambodian Futures so far. That number may swell to over 100 as the tournaments draw closer.
The team of officials for the three weeks will be led by India’s Punit Gupta, who supervised the 2011 events. Cambodia’s national team coach and technical director, Braen Aneiros, will be the tournament director for the three events, the first of which will open at the National Training Centre on November 19.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]