Thiland’s promising teenager Palaphoom Kovapitukted defeated Cambodia’s Delton Sophana Kim 6-4,6-4 in the third round of the Kuala Lumpur Open Tennis Championship, a popular prize-money event that has attracted some of the region’s seasoned players to the Malaysian capital.
The Kingdom’s second entry, Long Samneang, who shocked 12th seeded Rohizad Achop, 6-0, 6-2 in the third round, however found the going real tough in the next stage against Malaysia’s circuit-hardened Muhammad Ashaari, who wrapped up the fourth round contest 6-1, 6-1.
The 16-year-old Delton ran into a tough Thai rival, who is a year junior to him. Kovapitukted trains full time at the Thai Tennis Federation and is one among the leading crop of youngsters.
Delton has been working a lot on his backhands in recent weeks. He tried out the heavy and deep strokes that he normally goes for during practice.
But in a match situation he found this tactic hard to execute, often ending up hitting flat and short. Delton also had trouble coming up with his favourite cross-court forehands.
A veteran of sorts Ashaari was too crafty and consistent for inexperienced Samneang, who tried desperately hard to keep the ball in play only to find the Malaysian move in swiftly to close out the points.
On the brighter side, Delton Kim and Samneang made up for their singles exit by keeping their doubles chances alive.
The Cambodian pair got the measure of Koay Hao Chi and Koay Hao Zhe of Vietnam 6-2,6-3.
Meanwhile, Cambodian juniors Khleang Punlok, Sen Sophon and Sreynoch Ho will participate in the ITF/ATF 14 & Under Development Training Camp starting today.
The two-week camp will be held at the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand courts.
Tennis Cambodia coach Doeum Samsocheaphearun has accompanied the youngsters on this trip.
This 14 Under Camp will involve players from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
“This is a great opportunity for all three of our players, especially Sreynoch Ho, who we will be sending to the WTA Future Stars event in Singapore, alongside Sreypov Hour, in late October.
It’s also another great experience for coach Samsocheaphearun Doeum to go back to Thailand once again to learn from different coaches and bring back more knowledge for himself and to the federation,’’ head of junior development, Phalkun Mam said yesterday.