Cambodian number 2 tennis player Bun Kenny plays a shot during his Cham Prasidh Cup men’s singles semifinal against Pel Vanna at the National Training Centre. Kenny will travel to Bangkok on Friday to compete in three back-to-back Futures events.
Photo by Sreng Meng Srun
THE Tennis Federation of Cambodia is bracing itself to stage International Tennis Federation men’s Futures events, as part of the Asian Tour, early next month.
“We are applying for a three-event package as is the ITF norm,” said TFC Secretary General Tep Rithivit. “We plan to host two tournaments back-to-back in Phnom Penh and pass on the third to one of our neighbours, Thailand or Vietnam. We are holding talks with both Thai and Vietnamese tennis officials and I am confident one of them would accept our offer.”
The federation official said the events would “really put us on the map”, noting the benefits to the development of their young players. “We are in the process of implementing a structured junior tennis initiative. This is possibly the best way of giving our players the much-needed international exposure and a chance to get valuable ATP [Association of Tennis Professionals] points.”
ITF offers grant for prize money
The TFC’s bid to host US$10,000 Futures events fell in line with recent recommendations made by the ITF’s regional development òfficer, Suresh Menon, who has made several trips to oversee ITF-backed tennis development programmes in the Kingdom over the last few years.
In a detailed email, Menon assured the federation that “the world governing body, through its Grand Slam Development Fund, would provide a grant towards the prize money [of the Futures events]”.
The ITF official also made a strong case for the TFC to participate regularly in the ITF U14 Developing Circuit, contending that the newly established performance chart of Cambodian players would help the ITF evaluate the impact of the junior programmes.
Tep Rithivit, meanwhile, revealed a “piece of cheery news” for their number 2 ranked player Bun Kenny, who triumphed in the Cham Prasidh Cup Sunday.
“The ITF Development Officer has sent us a GSDF application form to seek assistance for Bun Kenny to take part in more men’s pro events,” said the TFC Secretary.
Bun Kenny will leave for Bangkok on Friday to take part in three back-to-back Futures events, accompanied by national coach Braen Aneiros. The Thai tennis authorities have given Bun Kenny wild cards for all three qualifiers.