Cambodian national team members Bun Kenny and Long Samneang posted first-round wins yesterday in the qualifying stage of the Singha Bangkok Open, which is the second event in the TATP Tour series being held at the Impact Tennis Academy.
The third member of the squad, Phalkun Mam was left behind after he was knocked out of the pre-qualifiers on Sunday by Thailand’s junior player Thantap Suksamran 7-5, 6-3.
Davis Cup spearhead Bun Kenny, who figured in two Asian Tennis Tour events in New Delhi last week, took in his stride another local junior Kasidit Samrej 6-2, 7-5.
The tall and lanky Samrej had some big ground strokes in his arsenal, but he struggled to keep them in play nearly enough to trouble Kenny in the first set.
The second set went on similar lines with Kenny quickly going up 4-1. Yet the Cambodian right-hander failed to close out as he began to spray his serves allowing his rival to not only level the game scores but even lead 5-4.
Kenny, however, broke back to level at 5-5, held his serve and then went on to break the Thai junior again to move into the final round of the qualifiers.
Long Samneang hit his stride early and well against ninth seeded Jirayu Limpatum of Thailand to come away with a 6-3, 6-3 win.
Jirayu proved to have better court craft, often surprising Samneang with drop shots and keeping his rival honest to the bounce with some good slices.
Yet Samneang countered his opponent by staying steady throughout the contest.