Cambodia’s Davis Cup spearhead Bun Kenny battled his way to the final of the Kuala Lumpur Tennis Open, where his weary legs buckled against a seemingly fresh David Sustanto of Indonesia, the top seed winning 6-3, 6-3 at the National Tennis Complex in the Malaysian Capital yesterday morning.
Having endured a long three-set battle in the semifinals against third seeded Ahmed Deedat Adul of Malaysia,the final showdown was Kenny’s 10th match in five days. Facing a player who had a relatively smooth passage, Kenny had a tough time coping with the physical demands.
The desire was there, but his legs apparently were not as after the first three games Kenny appeared winded.
Kenny had managed to reach a fairly good level of fitness in the past few weeks after spending months overcoming a shoulder strain that had been bothering him for some time.
“In a way it was mentally tough as well for me. The tennis is there, I am really happy about that, but when I start to think too much it does not allow me to play free and I start getting tight,” Kenny told The Post after the defeat.
“I am going to use the remaining time before the SEA Games to work on my mental game to be as prepared as possible,” said Kenny, who brought home a singles bronze medal from the 2015 Games in Singapore.
“Kenny carried the happy memories of his triumph in the BMW event at the same venue a couple of years ago. He played his heart out. He came up short this time, but I am sure he will hold this form next month and bring us Games glory once again,” said Tennis Cambodia Secretary-General Tep Rithivit.
Twenty-six-year-old right-hander Kenny was in much better physical shape when he overcame a mid-match crisis to beat Deedat Abdul 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 on the way to the final.
In the round of 16, Kenny defeated Christian Didier Chin of Malaysia, 7-5, 6-2. He was down 1-5 and faced multiple set points before he tidied up his game.
In the quarterfinals, Kenny ousted second seeded Anthony Susanto of Indonesia 6-4, 6-3, avenging his teammate Phalkun Mam’s straight-sets loss to the Indonesian in the round of 16 earlier.