(L to R) NagaWorld vice-president of events, promotions and entertainment Rajesh Kumar, executive director of NagaCorp Pern Chen, TFC secretary-general Tep Rithivit, GLF president Mitsuji Konoshita and tournament director Braen Aneiros attend a press conference at NagaWorld, Nov. 5, 2012. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post
The Tennis Federation of Cambodia (TFC) is gearing up for three weeks of action from the 2012 ITF Men’s Futures series at the National Training Centre from November 19 to December 9.
The back-to-back $10,000 events involving two-round qualifiers and 32-player main draws each week will be organised by the TFC in association with new partners Group Lease Finance and Davis Cup sponsors NagaWorld.
Cambodia’s national head coach and Futures tournament director Braen Aneiros told a media conference yesterday that as many as 240 players had registered for the Cambodian F1 to F3 competitions, with the qualifying round for the first event beginning on November 17.
Eight qualifiers and four wild cards will make their way to the 32-player main draw every week. There has been a flood of overseas requests for wild cards and the TFC has decided to allot one to Katsushi Fukuda of Japan for all three weeks while retaining the others for Cambodian national players Bun Kenny and the Mam brothers, Panhara and Phalkum, who are expected to arrive in Phnom Penh this Saturday.
Phalkum is the eldest of the three American-based tennis-playing Mam brothers, and he is making this trip in place of his younger brother Vetu, who was part of Cambodia’s Group IV Davis Cup Campaign in Doha during April of this year.
The youngest member of the national squad, Long Samneang, will get a wild card for each of the three qualifiers.
NagaWorld, the sponsors of the Cambodian F1 from November 19-25, are branding the tournament as the NagaWorld Cambodia ITF Futures Championship. The second event, the GLF-Cham Prasidh Cup, will run from November 26 to December 1. The concluding week from December 2 to 9 has been dedicated to the memory of the late Tep Kunnah, the father of Cambodian tennis.
“NagaWorld is committed to investing back into the community and country. We believe sports play a leading role in nation-building, and tennis is an excellent way to help advance the nation – especially with a solid organisation such as the TFC,” the executive director of NagaCorp, Pern Chen, told the conference.
Mitsuji Konoshita, GLF president and chief executive of the Japan-based Asia Partnership Fund said: “Our business philosophy is youth driven and it perfectly blends with that of the TFC, which has done an outstanding job in rebuilding tennis from scratch in Cambodia.
“My love for tennis made it easy for me to support this major initiative which will go a long way in spreading tennis country wide.”
TFC secretary-general Tep Rithivit, meanwhile, expressed the Federation’s “debt of gratitude” to both NagaWorld and GLF.
“Last year the TFC staged to back-to-back $15,000 events to great appreciation from the participating players. We are determined to go one better and make this year’s events a unique experience for the players,” Tep Rithivit said.
A notable feature this year is the setting up of a utility media centre. The TFC is also making available free wifi internet access for players, media personnel and officials.
Arrangements are also being made to bring hundreds of school kids each week to watch the international players in action.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]