Syria demonstrated their promotion credentials at the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group III event on Thursday after a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Malaysia saw them move to the top of Pool A.
Syria and Malaysia had both won their opening ties on Wednesday, so their match-up against each other was an important top-of-the-table clash, in which the Syrians prevailed with consummate ease.
Issam Al Tawil got his team off to a quick start by overcoming Yew-Ming Si 61 62, allowing Marc Abdelnour the chance to seal the tie. The Syrian No. 1 duly obliged by producing an impressive display to hammer the higher ranked Assri Merzuki 61 60 in just 50 minutes.
Syria added salt to the wounds of Malaysia when their No. 3 and No. 4 players, Amer Naow and Majdi Salim, completed the whitewash with another straight sets win in the doubles rubber.
Oman and Bangladesh were also in action on day two in another important tie, albeit for a different reason. While Syria and Malaysia had dreams of promotion, Oman and Bangladesh were both looking over their shoulder after suffering defeats on Wednesday.
And it was Oman who relieved some of the pressure by claiming a routine 3-0 victory, heaping more relegation woes on Bangladesh in the process. Brothers Mohammed and Khalid Al Nabhani inflicted the damage for Oman, both recording singles wins before teaming up to triumph on the doubles court.
On Friday, Syria face Oman knowing that a win will guarantee them top spot in Pool A and put them in pole position to gain promotion over the weekend. The other tie sees Malaysia take on Bangladesh.
In Pool B, Iran and Kuwait are safely through to the promotion stages after both recording their second successive round-robin win, although they will now face each other on Friday in a crucial tie that could have a big impact on the final standings.
Iran, who are hosting this week’s event at the Enghelab Sport Complex in Tehran, didn’t have any difficulty in brushing aside Kyrgyzstan 3-0, while Kuwait also won 3-0 against Vietnam.
Kyrgyzstan and Vietnam will meet on Friday in a tie that either nation can ill afford to lose in their fight against relegation, as the result will carry forward into the weekend.
The format of the week-long event sees the eight nations initially split into two round-robin pools. The top two nations in each group then advance to a ‘promotion’ pool, while the bottom two nations form a ‘relegation’ pool.
These new pools are contested over the weekend, after which two teams gain promotion to Group II and two teams suffer relegation to Group IV.
Click here to view more information about the event, including full results.