Vietnam and Hong Kong were the only two teams to enter the promotion pool with an unbeaten record in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group III at the Dubai Aviation Club, late on Friday.
Hong Kong ensured their position at the top of Pool A with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Iran, while Vietnam cruised to the summit of Pool B with a 3-0 win over hosts United Arab Emirates.
Hong Kong and Vietnam will be joined by Cambodia and Malaysia in the promotion pool, while the UAE will be joined by Oman, Iran and Pacific Oceania to decide which two teams get relegated to Group IV next year.
In Friday’s action, hosts UAE were unfortunate on two counts when their best player Omar Khaled Al Awadhy played with a stomach strain before going down in straight sets to Vietnam’s Minh-Quan Do.
Later in the deciding doubles, Mahmoud Nader had to be stretchered off to hospital after he twisted his ankle with the UAE leading 4-2 in the second set.
“First it was my injury and now Mahmoud has landed with this ankle. It’s a bit too frustrating,” Al Awadhy said. “But then this is sport and we need to re-group and come back tomorrow and try and win a tie to remain in Group III.”
In Saturday’s action, Hong Kong will meet Cambodia while Vietnam will play Malaysia in the promotion pool, while the UAE will be up against neighbours Oman and Iran will meet Pacific Oceania.
On the final day on Sunday, Hong Kong will be up against Vietnam and Cambodia will play Malaysia, while the hosts will take on Iran and Pacific Oceania face off against Oman.
The top two teams in the promotion pool will make the step up to Asia/Oceania Zone Group II in 2014, while the bottom two teams in the relegation pool will be demoted to Group IV.
Hong Kong China vs Cambodia
Vietnam vs Malaysia
UAE vs Oman
Pacific Oceania vs Iran