The second edition of the Cham Prasidh Cup tennis tournament opens tomorrow at the National Training Centre tomorrow. The eight-day national ranking event will see competition over eight categories.
For the first time, the Tennis Federation of Cambodia has created a separate stage for unranked players to play purely for pleasure. The men’s singles category has been split into A, B and C divisions, with the top class set aside for nationally ranked players and those who had made the quarterfinals of previous tournaments. The B and C categories, meanwhile, are open for all ages with any level of tennis skill.
“We just want to encourage anyone playing tennis to take part in this event,” TFC Secretary General Tep Rithivit told The Post yesterday. “If it is open singles, many of them run into national players and the charm is lost.
“This year we decided we will let these medium range and novices class players to have fun. The show piece of the competition remains the men’s A singles and Bun Kenny, who has just returned from his three-leg Indonesian Futures tour is there to defend his title.”
There is also a surprise in store for the capital’s tennis buffs. 21-year-old Singaporean Roy Hobbs, who is just breaking into the professional ranks, has confirmed his men’s singles entry.
“He is a fast developing player from the city state. He will play in the tournament and probably stay back for a week or two and train at the National Training Centre. He certainly boosts the quality of the event and the expected Roy Hobbs-Bun Kenny duel should work up a lot excitement,” said Tep Rithivit.
The TFC is also attaching a lot of importance to the U12 boys and girls events introduced for the first time in the Kingdom nearly three months ago.
“Our Junior tennis initiative is going well – so is our Tennis 10s in schools. Against this background, the U12 events are very significant,” added the Secretary.
Other categories include U14, U16 and U18 boys singles and men’s doubles.
The final is slated for June 19 and the TFC is planning a party for the participants as part of their prize distribution ceremony to be presided over by TFC President and Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh.
A 15-minute tennis demo by kids from the Tennis 10s School Programme has also been planned for the final day.