Photos by: Sreng Meng Srun
It took top seed Bun Kenny 45 minutes and some exquisite ground strokes to wrap up a 6-1, 6-1 victory over third-seeded Sok Sam Ath in the men’s singles final of the Cham Prasidh Cup at the National Training Centre yesterday.
The Kingdom’s second- ranked player completed a rich double when he partnered Long Samneang to snatch the men’s doubles from the experienced pair of Tep Rithivit and Chris Fosinetti in a tense match that went to an epic third set. The Kenny-Samneang pair survived a match point during the extended deciding set on their way to a 4-6, 7-6, 11-9 triumph.
Richer in experience following his trips to Malaysia and Thailand for ITF circuit events, Bun Kenny, who is heading to Bangkok next week for three back-to-back Futures events, was all over Sok Sam Ath. Only once did he drop his serve, and that was in the fourth game of the first set when two volleying errors and a double fault gave a rare respite for Sam Ath, whose own serves came under the hammer all the way.
In a second set that was slipping out of his grasp, Sam Ath produced one brilliant forehand pass. That was too little too late for the third seed, as he missed out on a break point in the first game of the second set and quickly fell into a 0-5 deficit. For the first time in the contest, Sam Ath managed to cling on to his service game, but Kenny served up an ace to polish off a love game to clinch the championship.
In the semifinals on Saturday, Kenny had made short work of eighth-seeded Pel Vanna, who was more intent on monologues and audible courtside asides than in handling his opposition’s power play. Kenny raced through the first set 6-0, and was poised for a whitewash at 5-0 when Vanna, much to the dismay of the organisers, conceded the match.
In stark contrast, the second semifinal on the adjacent court was a long, drawn out affair. When the nearly 90-minute contest concluded, Sok Sam Ath emerged the 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) victor over Seang Mao.
The men’s singles back draw saw Yi Puthea down Bun Hang via a super tie break at 6-3, 5-7, 10-8.
Kan Sophorn bounced back from a first-set loss and indifferent form to turn things around his way in a second set revival against Long Samneang in the U18 singles final Saturday. Long looked in good nick but midway through the second set, Sophorn took firm control of the tie. He proved overbearing in the third to complete a 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 victory.
Mak Brandon had it easy against Doum Sambath in the U14 singles final. Making the best use of his superior court reach, Brandon seemed a step quicker and a shot better in most of the rallies than the diminutive Sambath, the 6-0, 6-0 scoreline reflecting the gulf in class.
Cham Prasidh, minister of commerce and president of the Tennis Federation of Cambodia, Van Sou Ieng, president of the Cambodian Country Club and Paul Blanche Horgan, CEO of Ezecom, were among the guests of honour at the closing ceremony to distribute the trophies.