After a breakout 2017 in which she closed in on 500th in the world, with a ranking high of 560, after becoming the first Cambodian to win an ITF Futures event, Andrea Ka is pursuing the new season with greater vigour, with leading Cambodian business enterprise the Chip Mong Group giving her additional support alongside global tennis brand Head.
Ka added to her historic first ITF singles title at the $10,000 Amarante tournament in Portugal in July 2016 with victory at the $10,000 ITF Women’s Pro Circuit event in Hua Hin, Thailand in December of that year.
Chip Mong stepped in to help the French-born Cambodian SEA Games bronze medallist in Malaysia last August with her extensive women’s circuit tours around the world this season to improve her ranking and brighten her medal prospects for the Kingdom at the Asian Games later this year in Indonesia and the SEA Games next year in the Philippines.
“It is heartwarming and encouraging to see that local and international sponsors such as Chip Mong and Head are now appreciating the development and reach of Tennis Cambodia, and particularly Andrea Ka’s efforts to carry our brand throughout Europe,” said secretary-general Tep Rithivit, who also heads the Asian Tennis Federation’s Juniors and Rankings Panel.
“We are now proving that Cambodian tennis is no longer a participant but a contender on the world tennis scene. We are proud to have a female player break so many barriers and rank close to the top 500 in the world. It is most inspiring for the next generation of players.”
While the first three tournaments she played in Hammamet in Tunisia in January did not go particularly well for Ka, she is confident she can pick up the pace as the season stretches out.
She was beaten by the tournament’s eventual runner-up in the first round in the first week and then lost to a top 100 junior in the event that followed. She was forced to retire through illness in the quarterfinals of the next.
‘’I am very excited to start this new season with new goals. The support from Chip Mong is very important to me because it is helping me to travel to countries like Tunisia and parts of Europe and the world to play ITF tournaments and as enter as many Futures events as I can to earn points to improve my world ranking,’’ Ka told The Post.
‘’Head has been providing me the best support I can get, which is giving me the best racquets on the tour. I travel for my tournaments without worrying about anything as Head is providing me everything that I need to play tennis and pursue my goals.
As a potential medallist, Andrea’s progress through the season is being watched with great interest by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, which at its annual General Assembly on February 1 projected medal expectations of at least one gold from tennis in the Philippines SEA Games next year, two in the following edition in Vietnam and three when the Games are hosted by the Kingdom for the first time in 2023.
Founded in 1982, Chip Mong is one of the largest diversified groups in Cambodia, with businesses ranging from property development, beer and beverages, to manufacturing and distribution of building materials, concrete and cement.