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Cambodia’s tennis juniors stumble in opener

Cambodia’s tennis juniors stumble in opener

Cambodia's Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup squads stumbled badly in the opening group ties as the prestigious international competition rolled into action at two different venues in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Saturday.

Going into their first tie in Group D against Pakistan, Cambodia were swept off their feet 3-0 at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts while the girls lost all the three rubbers to host Sri Lanka at the Gymkhana Courts.

The Kingdom’s boys will play Turkmenistan and Lebanon in the four-team pool while the girls are grouped with Sri Lanka and Oman in the three team Group D.

As the country’s No2 choice for the singles, Khleang Punlok took the court first and after pulling himself out of trouble in his opening service game, he saw his rival Hayat Saquib grab control of the court to wrap up the contest 6-2, 6-1.

Facing Pakistan’s top player Ali Sahibzada Muhammad, Tep Timothy packed a lot of fight and hustle into the match, yet his Pakistani rival proved too hot to handle, staying solid and smart around the court to post a 6-1, 6-1 victory that gave his side an unbeatable 2-0 rubber advantage.

Cambodia paired up Khleang Punlok with Chheang Vannasith for the dead doubles rubber, but the pair had a rough time dealing with Ali Sabhibzada Muhammad and Shoaib Muhammad in a 6-0, 6-0 rout.

The otherwise hospitable hosts were not so on the court as Sri Lankan girls treated their Cambodian opponents with a degree of disdain.

Anika Seneviratne rapidly stitched up a 6-0, 6-0 defeat of Ho Sreynoch in the opening singles rubber while Anya Gunewardena put out Hour Sreypov 6-1, 6-1.

Having lost the tie, the Cambodian girls were listless in the doubles going down 0-6, 1-6 to Anya Gunewardena and Janali Manaperi.

“Much like the boys and may be even to a greater extent, the girls are totally inexperienced in doubles.

One goal for this event is to expose them to a lot of doubles which will happen since we only have a team of just two players,” noted Junior Davis Cup squad’s coach cum captain Phalkun Mam.

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