Pakistan’s hopes of winning through to Asia/Oceania Group I are over for another year after its Group II second round tie was awarded to New Zealand due to an unplayable court in Myanmar.
Ageel Khan defeated Artem Sitak to win the opening rubber for Pakistan on the grass courts of the Pun Hlaing Golf & Country Club in Yangon, prevailing 75 36 62 75 against the world No. 366. But with Aisam Qureshi leading 62 36 30 against Daniel King-Turner in the second rubber, the tie was abandoned, handing New Zealand a 4-1 victory and the chance to win a place in Group I in the third round in September.
New Zealand will meet either Philippines or Thailand, with the two nations locked at 1-1 after the opening day of their tie. Ruben Gonzales put the hosts one up at the Plantation Bay Resort & Spa in Lapu City, bypassing Wishaya Trongcharoenchaiku when the 17-year-old Thai was forced to retire with cramp while trailing 67(6) 64 30.
Davis Cup commitment award winner Danai Udomchoke, who has played 35 ties for Thailand and racked up a 39-16 win-loss record in singles, levelled the scores. The world No. 207 had to battle hard to defeated Johnny Arcilla, but ultimately prevailed 63 62 16 62 in just under three hours to place added emphasis on Saturday’s doubles rubber.
Both Group II relegation play-off encounters also saw the first day of play end on an even keel. Lebanon’s Bassam Beidas breezed past Sri Lanka’s Dineshkanthan Thangarajah in an hour and 40 minutes to take the opening rubber 61 62 61, but Harshana Godamanna hit straight back, requiring just five minutes longer to see off Karim Alayli 63 63 62. In Mishref, Kuwait, the home side hit back from dropping the opening rubber when Mohammad Ghareeb cancelled out Naser Al Obaidly’s 61 75 60 defeat to Issam Taweel with a 64 63 64 win over Marc Abdelnour.
All four nations are bidding to retain their places in Asia/Oceania Group II this weekend, with the two losing nations relegated to Group III in 2014.
For the full results from today's Asia/Oceania Group II ties, click the relevant link below:
New Zealand 4-1 Pakistan
Thailand 1-1 Philippines
Lebanon 1-1 Sri Lanka
Kuwait 1-1 Syria