Tennis Cambodia is all set to stage back-to-back ITF Junior tennis tournaments from February 17 to March 3 at the National Tennis Center and the adjoining Cambodian Country Club.
The two-week action marks the fifth and sixth such tournaments held in Cambodia since the Federation shifted its focus to Junior events two years ago after a successful five-year run with the ITF Futures.
In keeping with the trend seen during the four previous editions, over 100 participants from 15 countries are expected to compete for precious junior ranking points.
Thailand’s rising star Yuttana Charoenphon has been seeded at the top of the boys singles main draw for the first week on the strength of his impressive ITF ranking of 189 in the world among juniors.
Going into the tournament ranked 407th in the world, China’s Xuanjin Li heads the seeding list among girls,
There has also been a marked increase in the number of Cambodian juniors taking part, with 12 boys and four girls competing during the course of the two tournaments.
“It is reassuring to see the number, and the level of play, go up among our Cambodian juniors.
“As much as I loved hosting the ITF Futures in the past, it was really the right choice to begin hosting ITF Juniors back in 2016.
“To produce high level junior players, hosting these events regularly is the right step and a vital one in providing for the player pathway to higher levels,” Tennis Cambodia secretary-general Tep Rithivit said.
Davis Cup player Phalkun Mam, who is also the head of Junior Development, said: “We have one ranked girl in Ho Sreynoch.
“Three boys, Tep Timothy, Khleang Ponlok, and Chheang Vannasith, have a match win behind them in the qualifying of the December ITF Juniors.
“We were unable to claim even a modest record like this in the past.
“It’s very comforting to see how the visibility of our pathway is trickling down, from the senior team to the junior team competing in the upcoming events. And the rest of the youngsters also get to see top juniors from other countries playing in such high level events,” Phalkun added.
Sponsoring the two-week events are: ABA Bank, Pharmacie De La Gare, Zaman International School, and the two official hotels, the Cambodian Country Club and Tamasa Serviced Apartment and Hotel.
The sponsors are no strangers to these events, as all of them have either sponsored or partnered with Tennis Cambodia in the past.