Cambodia’s junior tennis season spread, across six well spaced events, ended in glory for Kep poster boy Sen Sophon, with the multiple winner this season adding the boys singles U16 Masters title to his collection at the National Training Center in Phnom Penh on Christmas Day.
The top eight players from each category figured in this ATP-style year-ender.
Slow to get into stride in the final against top seed Chheang Vannasith, Sophon warmed up well midway through the second set to first take control of the match and then dominate the nearly hour-long affair 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Playing disciplined tennis, Vannasith stayed ahead in the first set but an early break of serve in the second seemingly had a marked impact on his consistency in the second.
Once Sophon crossed the critical phase in the second, the momentum was his and he never looked back.
Sidelined due to injury during the first half of the year, Cheum Seyha has come fighting back to absolute fitness as evidenced by his 6-0, 6-3 win over current No1 Sam Davith in the Boys singles Under 14 singles final.
Sen Sorkheng prevailed over Ngong San 2-6 7-6(7) 6-4 in the boys U12 singles. Sorkheng and San are among the three players heading to the ITF 14 Under Development Championships in Thailand next month.
For some time, the girls U18 pegging order has been predictable, with Hour Sreypov enjoying an unbeaten run for weeks on end.
But that dominance might be under threat after Hour Sreynoch managed to pull off another win over Sreypov.
Sreynoch’s scored her second win over her arch rival 6-2, 6-3 in the girls U16 singles final at the Cambodian Country Club. Her new work regimen and harder training are beginning to make an impact on Sreynoch’s game.
Chhorn Sreyvin defeated Suong Phally 5-4 (3), 4-1 in the girls U 12 division. Suong Phally, who missed the last provincial tournament, was not in her best form, allowing the smaller but much quicker Sreyvin to often take advantage of her lack of focus.