The first week’s impressive winner, Soon Woo-kwon of Korea, began his quest for a repeat with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over qualifier Jeson Patrombon of the Philippines in the first round of the $10,000 ITF Futures, presented as the 20th Tep Khunnah Memorial, at the National Training Center today.
The 17-year-old Korean won all his seven service games and converted five of the eight break points he came upon. In sharp contrast, Patrombon could only manage to serve out just two games, and throughout the one-hour contest he never quite sighted a break point, which illustrated the Korean’s vice-like grip on the match.
Veteran Katsushi Fukuda, for whom Cambodia is sort of home away from his Japanese home, produced a vintage performance as a wild card entry to get past Christian Oliver Lee of Malaysia with absolute ease at 6-0, 6-2.
Now in his late 30s, Fukuda showed his rival, a dozen years his junior, that he remained as zestful as ever. Two years ago at the same venue, Fukuda had stunned one and all by bringing down two reputed players on the way to the quarterfinals, where he eventually went down fighting.
Cambodia’s only representative in the main draw, Long Samneang was completely out of depth against second seed Liang Chi Huang of Chinese Taipei. The 342nd ranked Huang, who as the top seed exited early in the first week of action, took less than an hour to race to a sweat-less victory.
Fifth seed Richard Gabb of Great Britain and sixth seed Niesten Milaan of the Netherlands recorded straight set victories over their Korean and Japanese rivals respectively.
The Briton slammed seven aces past Hong Chung in a 6-3, 6-2 win spread over 78 minutes, while Milaan had to spend a while longer for his 6-3, 6-3 win over Ken Onoda of Japan.
Yannick Jankovits, a new arrival from France this week as the top seed, got off to a confident start with a 6-3, 6-4 win over qualifier Kelsey Stevenson from Canada.
Last week’s runner-up Ji Hoon-son had to work hard for his 7-5, 6-2 win over Jeffrey Chuan En Hsu of Chinese Taipei, while seventh seed Mathias Wunner scampered home to a 6-3, 7-6 win over Masato Shiqa of Japan.
Mico Santiago from the US accounted for another German, Tom Schonenberg 6-4, 6-2.