Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam all joined hosts UAE with wins on the opening day of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group III event being held at the Dubai Aviation Club on Wednesday.
Hong Kong and Malaysia were winners in Pool A action with identical 2-1 wins over Oman and Iran, while the hosts secured a similar 2-1 victory over Pacific Oceania after Vietnam had cruised past Cambodia 3-0.
Despite the emphatic victory, Vietnam captain Tran Duc Quynh remained committed about the task ahead over the next few days. “We do not take any team for granted. We respect all these teams as they have earned the right to be here. We played well and our players stayed focused throughout and that is how we won,” he explained.
“I am not surprised with the result as our mindset was to go in with some aggressive play and that worked very well for us today,” Quynh added.
The UAE brought joy with a well-deserved 2-1 win over Pacific Oceania in Wednesday’s opener. Veteran Mahmoud Nader Al Blooshi was hailed as the hero following his 64 36 63 win over William O’Connell.
The UAE’s mainstay Omar Al Awadhy then came and wrapped up the encounter with a 63 63 win over 42-year-old veteran southpaw Gilles De Gouy. With the match in their pocket, the UAE sent in teenager Saud Al Ali to team up with Hamad Abbas Al Janahi for the doubles against Brett Baudinet and Daniel Llarenas.
After losing the first set 46, the young UAE duo did well to win the second 62 and then come agonizingly close in the decider before going down in the tie-breaker 10-8.
“This has been a good start for us. We did not know too much about Pacific Oceania. So such wins can only help our confidence,” UAE’s Spanish coach Jorge Martin Munoz said.
The match between Malaysia and Iran proved to be the highlight of the night. Iran drew first blood with Anoosha Shahgholi winning in three sets 36 63 63 against Syed Agil Syed Naguib only to see Assri Merzuki draw the two level with a 16 76(4) 64 win over Shahin Khaledan.
The re-shuffled Iranian pair of Ashkan Shokoofi and Anoosha Shahgholi took the first set 76, only to see the Malaysian duo of Yew-Ming Si and Syed Naguib win the next two sets 63 64 in a match that went on till 12.45am.
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