On the 22nd of October, the qualifying matches for the Boy’s Singles began. Playing for Cambodia in the qualifying of their first ITF Junior Tournament were Sen Sophon (orphan from Aspeca Orphanage in Kep), and Khleang Ponlok out of Phnom Penh.
Sen Sophon was the first to take the court against YOO Jaeyeon of Korea. Sophon’s opponent, although in not the best of shape physically, used his bigger frame to out power Sophon, keeping the rallies no longer than 2-3 shots. Sophon lost 6-0 6-2, finishing better in the second set by moving around Jaeyeon around the court and making more balls.
Khleang Ponlok followed Sophon on Court 1, facing Kaushik Hariharan of India. Though Ponlok lost the first set 6-1 to Kaushik, he battled in the 2nd set, falling 7-5, but putting up a great fight, trying to keep the rallies long by putting balls in high and deep in the court. It was really great to see Ponlok make his opponent work to beat him, and not just give away the match. Yesterday there were no Girl’s Qualifying matches, the Girl’s Qualifying will be played today, Sunday October 23rd.
The Boy’s Main Draw sign in will be from 3-6 pm today and shortly after the draw will be made. Receiving Wild-Cards is Tep Timothy, grand-son of the late Tep Khunnah, in which the tournament was named after. Find the 4 Wild Cards below:
- Tep Timothy (CAM) No ranking but 2016 Junior Davis Cup Participant
- Ryo Watanabe (JPN) Currently 827 in ITF Junior Ranking
- Lee Wonseok (KOR) Currently 1348 in ITF Junior Ranking
- Takeshi Koey (MAS) #1 in ATF 14 & Under Ranking
Two other boy’s, Chheang Vannasith, and Leng Sarinreach, will also compete in the main draw of their first ever ITF Junior Event. Through Vannasith’s and Reach’s National Ranking in Cambodia, they were able to get into the main draw without a wild-card. If player’s do not apply for the 2 Special Exempt positions in the main draw, the two spots go to the highest 2 players on the qualifying list. And since the highest ranked player withdrew at the last minute, Chheang Vannasith moved into the main draw as well Leng Sarinreach. All 3 Cambodian boys in the Main Draw will compete on Monday, October 24th.
Wild-Cards for Girl’s Singles Main Draw
- Katie LaFrance (USA) Currently 434 in ITF Junior Ranking which places her above Runa ICHINOSE of (JPN) at 460, who is the highest ranked direct entrant of the tournament.
- Skia Kung (Chinese Taipei) No ranking
The last two wild-cards were chosen from the two highest ranked players in the Girl’s Qualifying draw since no one else requested the last two remaining main draw wild cards.