Tep Timothy won the Boys 18 and Under singles title in the First National Junior Tennis Tournament at the National Training Center on Sunday.
With the excitement building ahead of Cambodia’s debut in the Junior Davis Cup in Sri Lanka next month, Timothy, one of the Kingdom’s key players, got nicely into a competitive groove by beating Khleang Ponlok, who is also making the historic trip.
The 15-year-old Timothy, who is a year older than Ponlok, used his greater experience to subdue his rival, one handling the higher division for the first time since moving up from the 14 and Under category.
Timothy won 6-4, 6-4, despite Ponlok putting up a good fight after a tentative start.
What settled the issue in favour of the previous season’s Masters winner was how well he handled the pressure as the set neared its end. Timothy played the vital points better than Ponlok.
The country’s Junior Fed Cup picks, Hour Sreypov and Ho Sreynoch reached the final showdown in the Girls 18 and Under section, as expected.
Though it was by no means a walk in the park for Sreypov, she managed to not lose a set despite being a break down in the second as she eventually ran out a 6-4, 6-4 winner.
The 15-year-old Sreypov, from the Boeung Khyang Orphanage, has not been beaten in a domestic tournament for almost three years, starting out from the U12 category and handling every step up with ease. Younger than Sreypov by two years, Sreynoch was far from disgraced by this defeat.
Her court demeanour reflected the steady improvement she has made in the recent months following her appearance in the Singapore Future Stars event last October in the company of her more illustrious rival.
There were hardly any surprises in the Boys 14 and Under class, with 13-year old Leng Sarinreach following up his amazing performance in the recent ITF/ATF event in Bangkok by asserting his superiority over the rest.
In a lopsided final, Sarinreach packed too strong a punch for Sam Davith who went down without a whimper, 6-0, 6-0.
The only consolation for Davith, who was Sarinreach’s travel companion to Bangkok, was that the 12-year-old could get quite close in some of the games though he failed to bag even one.
In the Girls U14 category, Chhieu Apsara of Lycee Rene Descartes defeated Eang Kunthea 4-1, 2-4, 4-2, while Sen Saukeng got the measure of Ngong San 6-2, 6-4 in the Boys 12 and Under final.