On the top half of the draw, after receiving a bye in the first round, Sen Sorkheng lost to Md Forhad Islam Rodro from Bangladesh, 6-2 6-0. In the first round of the compass backdraw, Sorkheng lost to Aadit Subedi from Nepal, 4-1 4-0. He then faced Sangay Rinchen of Bhutan and lost in a tough 3 set match, 4-2 2-4 5-4(6). Sorkheng suffered another loss against U. Abdurakhmonov [10/16] from Tajikistan, 4-2 1-4 4-1. Finally able to pull off a win in his last singles match of the first week, Sorkheng defeated Jigme Norbu of Bhutan, 4-0 4-2 to finish out the first tournament in 31st position.
Alongside fellow Aspeca Orphanage player in the top half of the draw, Sorkheng, was Ngong San. San lost to Zaw Lin Thun from Myanmar in the first round, 6-1 3-6 6-0. Moving into the compass backdraw like Sorkheng, San then faced G. Batsaikhan of Mongolia and beat him 4-0 3-5 4-0. In his final match against Khenrab Nima of Bhutan, he defeated Khenrab 5-4(4) 5-4(5) to finish the week ranked 33rd.
Sam Davith of Koh Krabey, the only returnee among the Cambodian squad, fell into the bottom half of the draw and also lost in the first round, to S. Wepamyradov [11/16] from Turkmenistan, 6-2 6-3. Vith quickly bounced back to beat E. Enkhtaivan of Mongolia, 4-5(5) 5-4(5) 5-3. Vith would fall in the next match, but not without giving a fight, to Hossain Md Roman from Bangladesh, 5-4(6) 5-4(4). Eugene Kuan of Macau made quick work of Vith’s next match, beating Vith 4-0 4-1. In his final match of the tournament, Vith bounced back once again after being defeated, and got a victory against Amir Bashimov of Turkmenistan 4-1 4-2 to finish out the first week in the 23rd spot out of 36 players.
In the doubles, Davith Sam teamed with Utsho Zubaid of Bangladesh and unfortunately had to play against fellow countrymen, Ngong San and Sen Sorkheng. Davith and Utsho eliminated the two youngsters from Aspeca Orphanage in Kep, 6-3 6-3. Vith and Utsho unfortunately fell in the quarterfinals to the Nepalese duo of Samyak Bajracharya and Aadit Subedi, 6-1 6-2. The Nepalese team were the 2nd seeded team and eventually lost in the semifinals of the doubles draw.
For the first time ever out of the country for Ngong San and Sen Sorkheng, we can only imagine the thrill they must be feeling and all the experience they must be gaining from this opportunity. It’s great to see Davith, returning to this tournament for the 2nd year in a row, and being able to finish as high as 23 out of the 36 entrants in the Boys Singles Draw. The boys and Coach Long Chomnith will receive a day to rest tomorrow, but will be back in action beginning on Monday when the 2nd tournament of trip begins!