Newcomer Our Sarith’s 6-4, 6-7(0), 6-2 win over Ahmed Deedat of Malaysia in the singles competition stood out as the only gain for Cambodia as the national team failed to win a rubber in three matches at the Southeast Asian Men’s Invitational Team tournament that concluded in Singapore last Friday.
The first-round win was highly satisfying for the left hander, who was appearing in his first major tournament aborad since he had lost in straight sets to the same player during Cambodia’s clash with Malaysia in the team event. However, in the next round, Sarith found himself in the deep end against Panji Untung of Indonesia and went down in two love sets.
Cambodia lost to Singapore (0-3), Indonesia (1-2) and Malaysia (0-3) in a four-nation tournament that had been designed with the purpose of providing valuable match-play experience to the players leading up to the SEA Games to be held in Malaysia later this year.
The event also laid out a platform for players from these countries to bond and work together so that stronger relationships could be forged in the region’s tennis community.
Even though Cambodia failed to win a team match, national head coach Braen Aneiros saw a positive in younger players like Long Samneang and Our Sarith going through the rigors of real match situations.
Davis Cup veterans Bun Kenny and Mam Phalkun played only the doubles matches and managed to pull out a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over the Indonesian pair of Rifqi Fitriadi and Arief Rahman, while losing the other two contests against Singapore and Malaysia.