After dropping a tight first set, Kan Sophon hit back strongly to beat Long Samneang 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 and top the four-player Group A in the boys’ U18 singles event of the 2011 Cham Prasidh Cup national ranking tennis tournament at the National Training Centre yesterday.
The needle match to decide the group B winner was interrupted by heavy rain after Ek Chamroeun had clawed his way back from a first-set deficit to level at 2-6, 6-2 before taking a 4-1 lead in the final set against Orn Sambath.
The winner of this match will take on Kan Sophon in the semifinal, while the loser will square up against Long Samneang.
In a tight men’s B singles pre-quarterfinals, Chhay Panhavuth edged out Long Chumnet in a three-setter that went all the way to a tense tie-break decider.
After sharing two well contested sets, Panhavuth played an aggressive tie-breaker to win 7-5, 4-6, 7-6.
In the top half of the draw, Doeum Somphearun also needed three sets to down Pel Vanna 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.
Sok Oun had a relatively easy 6-3, 6-4 victory over Pel Vanny to ensure his place in the quarterfinals.
Veteran Yi Sarun warmed up well enough after the loss of the first set to get past Rin Sophanarorn in their first-round clash. The match, postponed after Monday’s late-afternoon downpour, went in favour of the 65-year-old Sarun 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. He now meets Thun Thola, a 6-1, 6-0 first- round victor over Poev Pros, in the quarterfinals.