FOLLOWING the pain of a first-round exit for both the men’s and women’s teams Thursday, the Cambodian tennis squad returned to the courts of the National Sports complex in Vientiane Sunday with a point to prove in the singles and doubles events.
2007 SEA Games bronze medallist Tan Nysan and compatriot Bun Kenny made up for their team defeat with straight sets singles victories over Vietnamese counterparts Hoang Thanh Trung and Bui Tri Nguyen. The Cambodian pair, who reside and train in France, will play quarterfinals this morning with the hope of progressing to a podium place.
Sadly, the successes of the men’s singles was were the positive results ended for the Kingdom, with all other matches ending in straight sets defeats.
Sisters Cheng Chornay and Cheng Srey Pich lost their singles matches to Neesha Thirumalaichelvam of Malaysia and Denise Dy of the Philippines respectively. The girls then lost their doubles match to familiar foes Tran Lam Anh and Huynh Mai Huynh of Vietnam.
The 14-year-old rising star Ek Chamroeun and partner Orn Sambath lost their doubles match to the Malaysian pair of Adam Jaya and Si Yew Ming, while Tan Nysan and Bun Kenny couldn’t deal with the might of Thailand’s Kittiphong Wachiramanowong and Danai Udomchoke.
Saturday’s team event finals saw women’s favourites Thailand breeze past Indonesia, winning 2-0, while the men’s matches really captured the imagination of the crowd.
Famous brothers Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana – once ranked 39th in world doubles – were odds on favourites to win the tie and gold for Thailand, but Filipinos Treat Huey and Cecil Mamiit had other ideas, scoring a shock victory thanks to a third set tie breaker.