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26 April 2013

Latest Commitment Award winners announced


Photo: Andrei GolovanovFarrukh Dustov and Denis Istomin (UZB)

There were five new men welcomed into the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Commitment Award club following the latest round of action in April. We profile the newcomers and look ahead to those poised to win a Commitment Award later this year.

Johnny Arcilla - The man with one of the coolest names in tennis has been a dedicated servant of Davis Cup since making his debut as a 19-year-old against Indonesia. He scored the only point for his nation in that tie and has gone on to become the third most successful man from his country in terms of victories in the competition with a total win-loss record of 27-21. Arcilla remains dedicated to his country's cause and as well as competing in various round-robin events, he played his 20th home-or-away tie against Thailand in April. He might have lost his opening singles rubber against Danai Udomchoke but he will surely be in contention to add to his victory tally when Philippines take on New Zealand in the Asia/Oceania Zone Group II play-off in September, with the winner earning a place in Zone Group I.

Farrukh Dustov - Uzbekistan might have lost out to Australia in the last round of Davis Cup competition but both Farrukh Dustov and Denis Istomin competed in their 20th home-or-away ties to earn a Commitment Award. Dustov first played Davis Cup as an 18-year-old, making his debut against Indonesia, and has gone on to help his side reach the World Group play-offs in 2012 and compiled a win-loss record of 15-21. Regularly asked to play both singles and doubles, Dustov has become a rock on which his team can depend and will be back in Asia/Oceania Zone Group I action next year looking to help his team go one better than 2012.

Frederico Gil - His ranking has dropped in recent years but Frederico Gil has his sights firmly set on challenging for the right to be called Portugal's best Davis Cup player. He has a win-loss record of 28-17 and needs five more victories to overtake Nuno Marques (32-26) and 10 wins to claim the lead from Joao Cunha-Silva (37-40). He has played Davis Cup every year since making his debut against Tunisia in 2004 and at 28 years of age has plenty of time to keep going.

Victor Hanescu - Any up-and-coming Romanian players have big shoes to fill when you look back at some of this nation's great players, like Ilie Nastase, Ion Tiriac and Andrei Pavel, but the name most familiar to Romanian success in recent years is that of Victor Hanescu. The big man from Bucharest made a welcome return to Davis Cup in April having been absent for two years and in so doing earned his place among those greats from his homeland. Hanescu's Davis Cup career spans some 12 years and he has a win-loss record of 16-19.

Denis Istomin - The leader of the current Uzbek team is second only to Oleg Ogorodov for most wins in Davis Cup for his country and it was his fine form that saw Uzbekistan reach the World Group play-offs in 2012. He missed out on repeating the result when his team was defeated by Australia in April but he is sure to be back to compete in his 10th year of Davis Cup next year.

Ones to watch - Novak Djokovic is the biggest name on the list of players who now need just one tie to win a Davis Cup Commitment Award and he could earn the accolade if he competes in September's semifinal against Canada. One of his would-be opponents, Frank Dancevic, is also a contender in the autumn.

For a full list of Davis Cup Commitment Award winners click here.

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