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Timothy leads local charge at ITF Juniors

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Tep Timothy, grandson of the legenday Tep Khunnah, launches into a forehand. Photo supplied

Timothy leads local charge at ITF Juniors

The 23rd Tep Khunnah Memorial Cup rolls out at the National Tennis Center next week. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior event is named in tribute to one of the Kingdom’s tennis legends, the late Tep Khunnah, who presided over the golden era in the 1960s.

While the main draw matches in both the boys and the girls events are marked for Monday, the qualifiers will be played out during this weekend.

The Cambodian focus is on one of the leading juniors Tep Timothy, son of recently re-elected Secretary General of Tennis Cambodia Tep Rithivit and grandson of Khunnah as a third generation representative pursuing the Tep family’s great passion for the game.

More significantly this will be Timothy’s final junior tournament as he will turn 19 next year and will not qualify for the ITF Junior Circuit events. Early next year Timothy will head to the US to pursue his tennis career and academic studies as a student-athlete of Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Highest ranked junior

The high point of the boys main draw will be the return of Christian Didier Chin of Malaysia as the top seed. His current Junior world ranking of 168 makes him the highest ranked junior ever to compete in one of the Cambodian ITF Junior circuit events.

Topping the girls draw is Eunji Lee of Korea, who holds a current ITF Junior world ranking of 411.

On the Cambodian side, 12 other juniors will join Timothy to take on some of the top players in the region. Joining the boys event are Khleang Ponlok, Leap Sovannary, Ith Bunthea, Tep Nolane, Sam Davith, Mon Pheakdey, Nel Samnang, Ran Chamroeun, Van Seth. Ho Sreynoch and Chhieu Apsara will compete in the girls section.

“It’s always a pleasure to hold these tournaments here at home and watch good junior tennis and see the progress of our Cambodian juniors. We are happy as well to announce that the ITF has just approved another event that we applied for, so next year we will have a total of four,” stated Tep Rithivit.

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