Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodians at Singapore’s WTA Future Stars

Cambodians at Singapore’s WTA Future Stars

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Left to right: WTA Finals tournament director Melissa Pine with Cambodia’s Lao Pechreaksmey and Chhieu Apsara. Photo supplied

Cambodians at Singapore’s WTA Future Stars

As Singapore’s five-year association with the multi-million dollar WTA Finals reaches its final leg from Sunday until October 28, exciting times are ahead for boys and girls from the Asia-Pacific region to be part of the popular prelude that is the WTA Future Stars.

The event attracts some of the top juniors in the U14 and U16 age groups to compete against their peers and also enjoy the opportunity to watch the world’s top female players in action.

While the top eight singles players will compete in a round-robin format with the winner taking home the Billie Jean King Trophy, the top eight doubles teams will compete in a knockout format for the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Trophy.

But it is the sideshow starting on Wednesday that creates an ideal chance for the youngsters to compete and attend grassroots development initiatives and a clinic conducted by some of the most respected names in the sport.

Over the years, Tennis Cambodia has seized upon this chance to send out emerging talent to expose them to the rigours of competition, which is also once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet the game’s best and the greatest in friendly settings and also get a taste of how hard these top professionals train and compete.

For the second year in a row, Cambodia’s two contestants will be 14-year-old Chhieu Apsara from the Lycee Rene Descartes and 12-year-old Lao Pechreaksmey from Siem Reap.

Last hurrah

While Apsara, who tops the national U14 rankings, steps up to the U16 class in Singapore, it was a hard ride for Pechreaksmey to clinch the U14 spot.

As there was nothing much to choose between her and Nhaem Srey Noch, the federation had to conduct a playoff between the two Siem Reap-based players. Pechreaksmey got through in three tough sets at the end of September to book her Singapore place.

“This marks the fifth and sadly the last year Singapore will be hosting the WTA Finals. It is not yet known where the event moves next year, and also unknown is whether the WTA Future Stars will continue, but over the years our players have had amazing experiences,” Tennis Cambodia secretary-general Tep Rithivit said.

“We hope for the sake of the regions youngsters that this platform to meet each other and watch the world’s best female players continues to be part of this great year-ender,’’ he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • CNRP supporters rally in the streets of Tokyo

    Supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Monday rallied on the streets of Tokyo, demanding Prime Minister Hun Sen’s resignation and urging the Japanese government to “save democracy in the Kingdom”. Some 400 protesters in the rally, which was organised by

  • GMAC makes EU plea to consider job losses

    In a statement set to be published on Monday, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) said the EU’s possible withdrawal of Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) access would harm 750,000 workers and three million families. The GMAC statement, seen by The Post on

  • Four dead in Preah Sihanouk, Ratanakkiri flooding

    At least four people have died and thousands of families affected by flooding in Preah Sihanouk and Ratanakkiri provinces following recent heavy thunderstorms. Preah Sihanouk provincial spokesperson Kheang Phearum said on Sunday that a Cambodian husband and wife were killed on Thursday when a concrete

  • LPG gas explosion injures 13 people, including foreigners, in Siem Reap

    An explosion on Wednesday at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) car and tuk-tuk refuelling station in Siem Reap city has left 13 people, including an American and a Briton, suffering burns. The seven most severely burned, including a provincial police officer, were sent to a Thai