Andrea Ka, who took Cambodia’s women’s tennis to a new high by winning two ITF Futures singles titles and three doubles events last year, has landed a one-year international sponsorship contract from global tennis apparel and equipment brand Head.
Under the agreement signed last week ahead of her 25th birthday, Ka, who is currently based in Portugal, will exclusively use Head products, including racquets, travel bags and sportswear, during the contract period for coaching, training or tournament play either in public or private and also while engaging in promotional activities.
“Backing from a global brand like Head is the greatest recognition Andrea Ka could have had for her string of successes last year that included her being the first Cambodian player, male or female, to win an ITF singles event,’’ said Tennis Cambodia secretary-general Tep Rithivit.
“It is also a testimony to the progress we have made as a tennis nation in the past few years with limited resources and shoestring budgets but a committed player-base,” said Rithivit, who also heads the national squad as its non-playing captain.
“We are really proud of her achievements, and her reaching a world ranking close to 600, the highest by any Cambodian player in history, should be inspirational for hundreds of girls going through our junior programs,” he added.
Born in the US to Cambodian parents, Ka represented the University of San Francisco with distinction, steering her team to victory late last year in the “Battle in the Bay”, the most prestigious collegiate tournament in the US West Coast.
She was first drafted into the Cambodian national team in 2011 for the SEA Games campaign in Indonesia where she played mixed doubles with Bun Kenny. After Myanmar dropped tennis in the next edition, Ka was back to lead the Kingdom’s first ever women’s team in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games.
In the wake of her steady climb up the WTA rankings at the start of a new season this year, she will head to Malaysia this August as a bright medal hope in Asia’s second biggest multidiscipline event.
Reacting to the Head sponsorship deal, Ka said it would help her a great deal in pursuing her goals. She added that she could not have achieved what she has without the support of Tennis Cambodia.
Ka has now joined the illustrious company of taekwondo star Sorn Seavmey and petanque world title holders Ouk Sreymom and Ke Leng in enhancing the status of women’s sport in the Kingdom.
Ka’s break-out triumph came in early 2016 when she won her first ITF Women’s Futures singles in Portugal and picked up another title in the city of Hua Hin in Thailand.
During last season, Ka had beaten seven players ranked in the top 1,000 and won six of her 11 matches against players ranked below 500.