Despite a rainy start, the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group III event got under way on Wednesday at the Enghelab Sport Complex in Tehran, Iran.
Eight nations are competing in the week-long tournament. The teams are initially split into two round-robin pools, with promotion and relegation then up for grabs over the weekend.
In Pool A, Malaysia got their campaign off to a winning start with a 2-1 victory over Oman. Yew-Ming Si and Assri Merzuki caused the damage, combining to record singles wins against the Al Nabhani brothers, Mohammad and Khalid.
The opening rubber between Si and Mohammad proved to be crucial as the Malaysian No. 2 prevailed in three sets 64 26 63, allowing Merzuki to wrap up proceedings by defeating Khalid 64 64. The Al Nabhani siblings then recorded a consolation doubles win.
Syria were also on target with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Bangladesh. Issam Al Tawil and Marc Abdelnour claimed straight-set singles wins over Prithul Mondol and Sree-Amol Roy respectively, before Abdelnour teamed up with Majdi Salim to round off a perfect scoreline.
In Pool B, hosts Iran delighted the home fans by overcoming Vietnam 2-1 in their opening tie, which ended as a contest after singles wins for Mohsen Hossein Zade and Shahin Khaledan. However, the Vietnamese pairing of Mach Ho and Anh Tran succeeded in getting their team off the mark in the doubles rubber.
Kuwait also posted an impressive victory on day one, dropping just five games in three matches on their way to beating Kyrgyzstan 3-0. Mohammad Ghareeb and Abdullah Maqdas enjoyed singles success, and Maqdas also partnered Mohammed Abdal to victory on the doubles court.
On Thursday, Pool A leaders Malaysia and Syria will go head-to-head in a tie that could prove to be important in the promotion shake-up at the end of the week. Likewise, Oman will face Bangladesh with both nations already looking over their shoulder at the trap door. The Pool B fixtures see Iran meet Kyrgyzstan and Kuwait take on Vietnam.
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