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Pro-Am tennis event concludes in capital

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(From left) finalists Nigel Hayball, Long Chomnith, umpire Yem Samart and competitors Our Sarith and Chheang Sowann. Photo supplied

Pro-Am tennis event concludes in capital

As rafael Nadal equalled legendary Australian Margret Court’s record of winning the same grand slam 11 times at the Roland Garros on Sunday, Tennis Cambodia celebrated the French Open men’s final in a unique fashion by holding a 16-team Pro-Am doubles event at the National Training Center with all the participants later watching the Red Shale action in Paris on a giant TV at the adjoining Cambodian Country Club.

Befitting the occasion French Ambassador to Cambodia Eva Nguyen-Binh, who was the federation’s guest of honour, watched another interesting feature, a Cardio Tennis Court for non-players run by secretary-general Tep Rithivit with many children taking part.

The one-day competition, played in a carnival atmosphere, was supported by BRED Bank, Pachem Dental Clinic, Pharmacie De La Gare, the French Chamber of Commerce, French Wine Company and the Cambodian Country Club.

For the record, the third-seeded pair of young Davis Cupper Our Sarith partnering with veteran Chheang Sowann won the event aptly named 2018 French Open Final Pro-Am Doubles competition. In the final, the pair got the measure of federation coach Long Chomnith and his partner Nigel Hayball of Australia.

“I am very happy that we could fit this in as part of our ‘Tennis for All’ drive. It’s always great to host this type of event,” said Tennis Cambodia’s top administrator Rithivit.

The top seeds in the event, national assistant coach Chea Poev and Yoshihiro Into, lost in the semifinals to the eventual champions. Recent National Games singles and doubles winner Long Samneang, who partnered with amateur Yasuo Uchida, fell to his older brother, Long Chomnith, and Nigel Hayball in the round of eight.

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