Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Valiant Bun Kenny vanquished by Vishnu Vardhan

Valiant Bun Kenny vanquished by Vishnu Vardhan

Valiant Bun Kenny vanquished by Vishnu Vardhan

Cambodia’s wild card pick Bun Kenny ruffled a few feathers before going down gamely to top seeded Vishnu Vardhan of India 7-6, 6-2 in the first round of the US$15,000 ITF Men’s Futures tennis tournament at the National Training Centre yesterday.

It took two hours and five minutes for the lanky 23-year-old Indian, ranked 387 in the world, to subdue Bun Kenny, 20, who had picked up his first ATP point barely two months ago in Laos.

Momentum had swung back and forth like a yo-yo during a high tensile first set during which saw the players trade several break games and produce numerous long rallies. The stockily-built Vardhan thrives on pace, but Bun Kenny was expertly pulling the tournament favourite out of his comfort zone and forcing him to work a lot harder than he would have wished.

However, the top seed’s vast circuit experience came into play in a dramatic first set tie-break as the Cambodian allowed his pent up emotions to get the better of him.

At the start of the tie-break, Kenny stormed into a 3-0 lead, but a sudden rush of blood to the head had him throw away the advantage through a series of unforced errors.

Vardhan’s relief was written large across his face after clinching the set with a delicate drop shot, especially as several of his previous attempts had been dealt with severely by Bun Kenny.

The equation then dramatically turned the Indian’s way, and with assurance draining out of his opponent, the rest of the match was just a question of time and margin.

“The way Bun Kenny came fighting back in the first set, and the tie-break was really impressive,” said Vardhan, who won his first Futures event in New Delhi nearly two years ago.

“I had problems adjusting to the court. I have not seen him play and I do not know much about these courts. I normally wish to play a couple of yards behind the baseline, [but]

I couldn’t do that because the ball was coming a lot slower and also keeping low.

“It was quite tough. I feel I didn’t touch my best today, but this experience will certainly help me,” he said, adding that his serves should improve now he knew what pressure to use to avoid breaking strings.

Cambodian National team head coach Braen Aneiros noted that his player had let the occasion get the better of him.

“Kenny tried to rush after taking that early advantage in the tie-break,” he said,

Bun Kenny, for his part, said it was a frustrating feeling to see the first set slip through his fingers.

“I knew I had a good chance. Somehow, I allowed the pressure to get at me,” he said.

Later, Thailand’s No 1 Danai Udomchoke was the centre of attraction when he took the court as the event’s fourth seed against Vijayant Malik of India. In quick time, the 28-year-old was unveiling his superb court craft to the point of driving the Indian youngster to a state of desperation.

Stroking the ball fluently from both flanks, Danai called the shots and dictated the terms on the way to a 6-1, 6-1 victory.

“My percentages on first serve was not quite good today. I need to work on that aspect,” said Danai after the match.

“I was quite happy with my touch. It was hot out there but being a Thai, I am used to these conditions.

“The courts played a little slower than I expected and also kept a trifle low at times,” added the Thai star, who was once ranked as high as 77 in the world.

In other games yesterday, Russia’s Ervand Gasparyan carved out a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Kim Cheong Eui of South Korea and in an all Indian affair, 18-year-old Yuki Bhambri, seeded fifth here, got the better of qualifier Divij Sharan 7-6, 6-2.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this