Cambodia will take on Myanmar today in the opening tie of Pool A as the 2017 Asia/Oceania Group IV Davis Cup cycle begins in the town of Isa in Bahrain. As the highest ranked team among the 11 contestants, Cambodia were placed at the top of five-team Pool A along side hosts Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and Krygystan.
Iraq led a Group B involving six teams made up of Singapore, Oman, Tajikistan, Bangladesh and Mongolia.
After the captains meeting at the town’s famous K-Hotel, the official draw was performed to determine the groupings and the order of matches through the promotional playoffs at the end of the week. Cambodia have been given a rest day on Thursday.
The Cambodian squad of non-playing captain Tep Rithivit, National coach Braen Aneiros and players Bun Kenny, Mam Phalkun, Long Samneang and new face Our Sarith reached Bahrain on the morning of Thursday and lost little time getting on the hard courts.
“We got here early and grabbed some useful practice, and we are sharp and focused to reach our target of regaining Group III Status we lost in Iran in 2016,” coach Aneiros said. “Crucial injuries and the demands of unfamiliar clay courts got in our way last time. I feel our chances are really good here.”
Non-playing captain Rithivit is likely to play a tactical card in placing Kenny as the second singles player and leaving the top spot to either Samneang or Sarith.
“We have to keep Kenny’s persistent shoulder strain in perspective and also the pressure he has to bear playing singles and doubles ties every day. Being second nomination, he will play his singles first and then get much needed rest before the vital doubles,” Rithivit said.
“There is no such thing as advantage or disadvantage in a compressed format like this. You get out on court and do your best in every rubber and that is what I expect from my players,” he said.