Local Tennis Hopes Gear Up for Back-to-Back ITF Juniors

The sign-in for the first of the back-to-back ITF Junior tennis tournament begins today with the two-round qualifiers rolling into action on Saturday at the National Training Center.

At least for the first week, all of the local hopes – Tep Timothy, Chheang Vannasith, Khleang Ponlok, Leng Sarinreach, Sen Sophon, Ye Kim Hoy, Van Sear, Ho Sreynoch and Hour Sreypov – will be competing in the qualifiers as none of them have been given wild cards into Monday’s main draw.

“We wanted our players to go through the rigours of the qualifying rounds so that they could build their confidence and strengthen their match fitness.

“We, however, will take a fresh look at the second week depending on how they perform,” Tennis Cambodia’s head of Junior Development Phalkun Mam, told The Post yesterday.

Returning after winning the Kingdom’s inaugural ITF Juniors last October will be boys singles champion Diego Garcia Dalisay of the Philippines. Girls winner Charmaine Seah of Singapore, however, has pulled out after signing up.

The highest ranked player in the boys section is Christian Didier from Malaysia, with a world junior ranking of 284. Sumin Kim of Korea will be the top seed in the girls main draw with an ITF ranking of 415.

Repeat sponsors are ABA Bank, Cambodian Country Club and Dara Airport Hotel, the last two being the official hotels for the two weeks. Coming in as joint sponsors for the first time are Zaman International School and Pharmacie De La Gare.

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