The People’s Government of Kunming, the Chinese Tennis Association and various other government bodies have set in motion the inaugural 2018 Colourful Yunnan – Belt and Road Initiative Friendship Competition to bring the most populous nation in the world closer to communities in Southeast and East Asia.
The tournament will be organised from October 6-14 at the International Tennis Centre of Anning. This is an all-clay venue with 11 courts, four of which are indoors. Major ITF, WTA and ATP events are held at the facility every year.
The total prize money is 300,000 yuan (about $ 44,000). Detailed prize money breakdowns will be provided on site. Prize money is only available for the mixed team event.
Tennis Cambodia has picked five players, three in the adult mixed division and two juniors after efforts by the federation to get visas for the women’s team of three failed.
The Post has learned that visas to female players were refused, though the Chinese embassy gave no reason why.
Acting as travelling coach for both the men’s and the junior boys’ teams will be assistant national coach Chea Poev.
The experienced Davis Cup player Long Samneang and his left-handed national teammate Our Sarith join young Khleang Ponlok in the senior division. Tep Nolane and Sam Davith will figure in the junior section.
The competition will be staged in three categories.
The mixed event is to consist of five rubbers, with men’s and women’s singles and doubles and a mixed doubles.
Junior Boys and girls events (16 and under) will be contested over two singles matches and a doubles. Each Team will comprise of no more than 22 players and officials.
The mixed team, boys’ and girls’ teams will each have no more than four members (16 players in total). The remaining six places can be made up of coaches and officials. In the junior category, the players must be 16 and under as of 31 December 2018.
“Although this competition is not an ITF or ATF event, it is still important for us as it’s another opportunity for our players to compete and to be involved in the region.
“We truly think this is a great bonding initiative between Southeast and East Asian countries, and we hope to participate in this event every year,” Tennis Cambodia Secretary-General Tep Rithivit said.