Last week’s winner Ramkumar Ramanathan of India began his quest for the GLF Tep Khunnah Trophy, the third and final leg of the Cambodian $10,000 ITF Futures, yesterday with a 6-0, 6-2 first-round drubbing of the Kingdom’s youngest Davis Cupper, Long Samneang.
The Indian got into his loping strides so quickly that the Cambodian youngster found himself in a state of flux. Though Samneang managed to put in a better show in the second set, Ramkumar was too crafty and overbearing.
But for sheer substance and style the contest that stood out the most yesterday was the one between Russia’s Alexander Zhurbin and Australia’s Jacob Grills.
The 18-year-old Grills managed to take the first set only to see the Russian left-hander grow in confidence and take the next two for a merited win at 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Fourth-seeded Toshihide Matsui of Japan outplayed his fellow countryman Yusuke Watanuki 6-3, 6-1, while Mico Santiago of the United States had little hardship in sidelining Vietnam’s wildcard entry Thein Nguyen Hoan 6-1, 6-4.
On the doubles front there was cheery news for Cambodia when Davis Cup pivot Bun Kenny and his Thai partner Pruchya Isarow worked out a 7-5, 6-3 win over their more fancied rivals from Great Britain, Josh Goodall and Harry Meehan, in the 16-pair draw.
However for Bun Kenny’s Davis Cup teammate Mam Phalkun, it was a disappointing end as he and his American doubles partner Thomas Shubert went down to Oscar Hernandez Perez of Spain and Kelsey Stevenson of the United States 6-2, 7-6.