Kep's poster boy Sen Sophon bounced back from a set down to outlast Leng Sarinreach 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 in the Boys Under 14 final of the third National Junior Tennis Tournament at the NTC court on Sunday.
Arguably the best match of the whole tournament produced plenty of drama in a tough contest of earned points.
No one has trained longer and harder during the summer months than Sarinreach and that huge among of work showed up in his game but Sen Sophon went on to prove that he is made of sterner stuff too.
The first set showcased Sarinreach’s improvement and maturity.
The second was just as close with Sen Sophon keeping his cool in a touch and go tie-breaker at 11-9. Being so close to victory but unable to clinch it, Sarinreach’s frustration took it’s toll as Sophon steadily built on the momentum he enjoyed.
The country’s top junior Delton Sophana Kim, who has moved from France to pursue his future with Tennis Cambodia, showed his mettle with a 6-1,6-3 win over Chheang Vannasak in the Boys Under 18 final.
The Boys/Girls Flight B opened up to be a co-ed draw since there was only one female entrant in the Under 12 category.
Tippi Dalle-Grave and her family recently relocated to Cambodia from Mauritius.
She was very happy to make the draw with the boys and ended up besting them in the round robin format.
Tippi beat Ear Bunlong in three modified sets at 4-5, 4-1, 4-2.
It took Sam David of Koh Krabei over two ours to overcome Sen Saukeng of Aspeca, Kep to win the Boys Under 12 Flight A final. It was a great effort by both, and it was heartening to see Sen Saukeng closing the gap with David, whom he has never beaten.
David, not being able to win with power, had to use other tactics like looping some returns high and rushing the net frequently.
The ploy worked for David who went on to win 7-6, 6-7, 6-3.
Ong Sreypov defeated Ho Sreynoch 3-6 6-1 6-3 to win the Girls Under 18 title.
Since there were not many entrants in the Girls 14 Under draw, Sreynoch was allowed to join in with the older girls and gave a tough fight to Sreypov.
“We have now completed the first three tournaments of the year and Hagar have been outstanding as one of our sponsors.
The children have always been very happy with the catering and we hope that Tennis Cambodia and Hagar can work together again in the future,’’ head of junior development, Phalkun Mam, told the Post.