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Phuket’s debut SAT invitational a big hit

Phuket’s debut SAT invitational a big hit

TENNIS: Phuket hosted its first tennis invitational program last weekend as a selection of professional players and rising stars helped promote the island as a sports tourism destination.

Sunday 3 July 2022, 10:30AM

The Sports Association of Phuket along with the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) launched the inaugural ‘SAT Phuket Tennis Invitation 2022’ at the multipurpose tennis courts at Saphan Hin Park last Friday through Sunday (June 24-26).

The competition consisted of male and female senior and junior contests as well as a seniors doubles competition where the total age of the four players competing could not be less than 100 years of age. The prize money distributed across the various contests was B300,000.

Thanakorn “Tar” Srirat, a 20-year-old rising star ranked 21st nationally, beat 27-year-old Chayanon “Max” Kaewsuth, ranked 50th nationally, in the men’s singles final after the latter had to retire injured in the second set.

Former national player Waranya “Yui” Wongthienchai, 29, beat 25-year-old Rada “Ploy” Manathawiwat, ranked 21st nationally, 7-5, 6-4 in the women’s final.

In the final of the men’s singles under 14 age group, Tri Srisen defeated Benjamin Siang Saw 6-3, 6-3 while Tharita Hongyok defeated Thanisara Chongquinit 6-0, 6-4 in the same age group of the women’s singles final.

In the senior mixed doubles final Jenjira Nimmanhaemin and Kreetha Phimphahu defeated Jira Thanthong and Arcade Suriyapanpong 6-0, 6-2.

Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong opened the event last Friday where he was joined by Saroj Angkanapilas, Mayor of Phuket City, Thammawat Wongchareonyot, President of the Phuket Sports Association, and Charoenchai Suwansri, SAT Department Director of regional sports.

Devas Lounge

Vice Governor Panapong explained that the event was to include aspiring young tennis players, seniors and professionals to help reinforce Phuket’s standing as a major sports city, as per directives by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

The event was also expected to attract a significant number of tennis fans to the island, he added, which will help boost the local economy.

Mr Charoenchai said the event will be an annual occasion developed via a collaborative effort by SAT, the Thailand Lawn Tennis Association and the Thai Senior Tennis Association to ensure the right calibre of players are invited to compete.

The goal, he added, is to develop the event to a level that sees talented athletes competing each year to help grow interest and participation in the sport locally and nationally.

Concurrant to the competition, former Thai professional player Danai Udomchoke, who reached a global ranking of 77 in 2007, helped run a series of coaching sessions to further help with player development.

Other players of renown taking part included Worachon Rakpuangchon, Worawin Kamthornkittikul, Nattapat Phewbangrak, Rada Manatrivat, and Runya Wongthienchai.

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