There is good news as well as bad news. Here are the match results first.
#2 Singles: Phalkun Mam defeats Georgiy Pochay 6-3 6-4. The first set of the match was a battle of the grind and Phalkun came out the victory, playing more consistent tennis than his opponent. Despite an early lead with Phalkun up 2-0, Georgiy would win the next 4 games to go up 4-2. The momentum shift first sided with Georgiy, but being down 2-4, Phalkun was able to fight through 4 tough games that saw many deuces to win the match 6-3 6-4.
#1 Singles: Kenny Bun defeats Aleksandr Ernepesov 6-2 6-4. The first set in Kenny’s match were full of unforced errors from the Turkmenistan side. Hitting out and not being able to find a good range cost Aleksandr the set. In the 2nd, Aleksandr put more pressure by getting more balls in play and pushed Kenny, but Kenny was too strong winning the match 6-2 6-4.
Doubles: Pannhara Mam & Phalkun Mam lose to Aleksandr Ernepesov and Georgiy Pochay 6-7(2) 6-4 6-4. The brothers started out solid, going up a break in the middle, only to get broken later in the set. Serving down 5-6, Phalkun held to take the match to the tiebreaker, where the brothers dominated to win 7-2. In the 2nd, Cambodia rode with the first set win to a 4-2 lead in the 2nd set. Unfortunately while up 4-2 and serving, we were broken and Turkmenistan carried this break along with the set, winning 6-4 against the brothers. In 3rd and final set, Cambodia played catch up tennis after Phalkun was broken early on. Both teams would hold all the way to 5-4, with Turkmenistan up and serving for the match. At 5-4, with Georgiy serving, the longest game of the match unfolded with multiple matchpoints saved on Cambodia’s end and many break points saved by Turkmenistan. After about 10 minutes of back and forth, Turkmenistan took the match 6-7(2) 6-4 6-4.
Though the team match was won, the doubles loss was a crucial blow to Cambodia. Because Malaysia surprisingly lost one match against Turkmenistan, the race would have been a lot closer if we had won 3-0, since Malaysia actually beat Syria today 2-1. Hopes are still high since we are not out of making the final 2 in our pool. We can make the final two in our pool with a win over Malaysia, which we hope to do tomorrow! Let’s go Cambodia!