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Tennis duo flop out of singles, but win as pair

Tennis duo flop out of singles, but win as pair


Orn Sambath (pictured) and Bun Kenny won Cambodia’s first match at the Asian Games in Guangzhou with a victory in the men’s doubles yesterday. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

Cambodia’s top ranked tennis player Bun Kenny and teammate Orn Sambath were both knocked out in the first round of Asian Games men’s singles competition at the Aoti Tennis Centre in Guangzhou yesterday. However, they managed to salvage some pride later by beating a Saudi Arabian pair in the men’s doubles event.

In the morning session, 20-year-old Bun Kenny - who earlier this month earned his first ATP ranking in Laos - lost his hour-and-a-half battle with Pakistan’s No 2 Khan Aqueel Khan 3-6, 4-6. Meanwhile, Qatari junior Jabor Mohammed Al Mutawa came out of a tight first set to wrap the match up with a love set for a 7-5, 6-0 verdict in little over an hour against Orn Sambath.

Pakistani junior Khan shot into a 3-0 lead after Bun Kenny dropped his first service game. A brief recovery midway through the set was not good enough to stop Khan from taking the first set in 46 minutes, with the Cambodian failing to cash in on any of his five break points. In the second set, games went with serves until the ninth when Bun Kenny allowed the Pakistani to get a crucial break to seal the straight sets victory.

Sambath, 16, started on a confident note, breaking Al Mutawa in the second game of the first set to take a 2-0 lead, only to see his rival break back in the next game. Until 5-5 the two stayed true on their serves, before the tide turned the Qatari’s way to see him go on to clinch the set with a break. The second set was a 22-minute breeze for 16-year-old Al Mutawa, who comfortably eased into the second round.

In yesterday afternoon’s first round doubles match, Bun Kenny and Orn Sambath claimed their first taste of success in Guangzhou by defeating Saudi Arabia’s Abdulmalek  Burasais and Zaki Al Abdullah 6-1, 6-4. However, the Kingdom’s duo face the daunting task tomorrow of a second round match up against third seeded pair Yi Chu-Huan and Lee Hsin-Han of Taiwan.

Iran team too good on the beach
The Iranian pair of Reza Assari and Rahman Raoufi shared six service aces between them to outplay Cambodian duo Van Sak and Meng Heak 21-11, 21-13 in their men’s preliminary Group G beach volleyball match yesterday.

In favourable weather conditions, the Iranians were hot on their attacks to land 29 points, while the Cambodians flopped with just 10 points. Assari and Raoufi also outnumbered their Cambodian rivals in dig successes by a ratio of 11 to 2.

This was the Cambodian side’s second defeat in the four-team group, having lost to hosts China in their first outing. They will take on the East Timor combination of NDF Xavier and FC Soares in their last match tomorrow, with purely consolation on offer for both pairs after progression in the event was ruled out yesterday.

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