Cambodia’s Bun Kenny justified his wild card entry into the main draw of the ITF Men’s Futures tennis tournament in Khon Kaen with a resounding 6-4, 6-1 first round victory over Serizhan Yessembekov of Kazakhistan yesterday to earn his second ATP point and a guarantee of an improved world ranking.
It took the 20-year-old Cambodian national player some consistent baseline play on a hard and fast surface to take control of a big serving but highly erratic Yessembekov, who sprayed as many as 44 unforced errors during the hour-long contest.
The 922nd ranked Kazakh served his way out of trouble in the early part of the first set to level the games at four-all after the Cambodian had stolen a march to lead 4-2. But that was as far as Yessembekov would get as Bun Kenny wrapped up the first set and steamrolled the second.
“I am very happy that Kenny got his second ATP point,” said National Coach Braen Aneiros, who was courtside to witness the unfolding action.
“He had a long wait since he picked up his first in Laos a few months ago. He has been working very hard and it is a just reward.
“In the last three Futures events, Kenny had been rather unlucky with the draw, coming up against very strong players. He sensed his chances here and stuck it out quite well.”
Tep Rithivit, Secretary General of the Tennis Federation of Cambodia, greeted the news from Thailand with a mixture of relief and satisfaction.
“It is a big boost for our stock. Our goal is for Bun Kenny to crack the 500 [ranking] mark by the end of this year. We believe that he is good material and this is a very encouraging sign,” he said.
“It is a good example of how we could help each other. We provided two Thai players with wild cards for our [Futures] tournaments [in Phnom Penh last month] and here Bun Kenny gets one and makes the best out of it.”
TFC President and Senior Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh also hailed Bun Kenny’s victory as a memorable turning point for Cambodian tennis.