Hong Kong China and Vietnam continued their strong run in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group III event at the Dubai Aviation Club on Thursday.
Both the East Asian nations made it two out of two in as many days with Hong Kong China blanking Malaysia 3-0 in Pool A, while Vietnam got the better of Pacific Oceania 2-1 in a Pool B encounter.
Iran overcame their disappointment of losing to Malaysia on the opening day with a straightforward 2-1 win over winless Oman.
“We should have been winning both [against Malaysia and Oman]. I did not sleep last night thinking of how we lost that match against Malaysia,” fumed Iran captain Saeed Ahmadvand.
“Shahin Khaledan played an unbelievably stupid match when we were a set up and leading 53, 40-15 and we lost the match. It was one of those bizarre moments that I want to forget. I suppose this is what we call ‘Davis Cup pressure’,” he added.
Also caving in on Day 2 were hosts UAE as they seemingly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory going down 1-2 to Cambodia after being in a winning position in the second Pool B encounter.
The UAE had everything going their way with young Hamad Abbas Al Janahi taking the first singles after Panhara Mam was forced to retire with severe cramps while trailing 64 57 0-3.
Al Awadhy then continued the showing for the host nation against Kenny Bun while taking the first set 64 and 4-2 up in the second. Then all of a sudden his form dropped and Bun took ten of the next 13 games to draw level and finally take the next set and match to force the deciding doubles that the Cambodian duo of Panhara Mam and Phalkun Mam went on to win 63 76(3).
UAE captain Mahmoud Khalifa Al Blooshi had no explanation for the sudden dip in form. “This is tennis. Yesterday was our day when we defeated Pacific Oceania and today nothing seemed to be going right for us,” he shrugged.
“We have our third one against Vietnam and hopefully we will be able to win that one and keep ourselves in the group,” he hoped.
Meanwhile, making merry with their second win in as many days was Vietnam following their 2-1 win over Pacific Oceania. “I don’t think Pacific Oceania is ready this time. Hong Kong China, Malaysia and Iran are the teams to beat this year. Our aim is to top the pool and then target the Group III win as well,” confided Vietnam’s coach cum manager Bao Truong.
“Our next target is the UAE and we will be looking at nothing short of a win to go into the next stage with a lot of confidence,” he added.