Cambodia’s national tennis team will open its promotion bid in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group III with a Group B clash against Lebanon today at the Esteghlal International Tennis Academy in Tehran.
Following a meeting of the captains of the nine competing teams, the official draw placed Cambodia with Syria, Lebanon, Qatar and Singapore. The four-team Group A, headed by top-seed Iran, will include Turkmenistan, Hong Kong and Pacific Oceania.
The round robin will spread across the week until Friday, with both the promotion and relegation playoffs earmarked for Saturday.
On arrival in Tehran on Thursday, the Cambodia team were informed of a change of venue for the event.
From the city’s iconic Enghelab Sports Complex, which Cambodia’s players were familiar with after their 2014 campaign, the scene of action has shifted to the Esteghlal Tennis Academy.
“Though both venues are clay, it was tough to manage the conditions at first when our players got on court. But they are staying positive and are in good spirits. The bounce is unpredictable and air is thinner because of Tehran’s elevation, but they are getting used to it quite well,” national coach Braen Aeniros said.
“The compressed format means that we have to play a match every day of the week. It puts a lot on both mental and physical strength.”
“I am confident the team we have this time will cope well with this demand,’’ non-playing captain Tep Rithivit said ahead of the opener.
“All the teams are tough, we knew this coming in. The important thing is to give our best no matter who is across the net. Our players are ready to fight. Whether it’s Lebanon first or another country the team is ready for it,” said Rithivit, who is also the secretary-general of Tennis Cambodia.