Thu, 19 March 2015 H S Manjunath
Entertainment and gaming sector leader NagaWorld has extended its partnership with Tennis Cambodia for the fourth successive season as the main sponsors of the National squad bound for Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to compete in the 2015 Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group III cycle that begins next Wednesday.
Cambodia, who joined the more-than-a-century-old tennis world team competition in 2012, will be battling for one of two promotional tickets to Group II on offer in a field that includes Hong Kong, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Vietnam and Turkmenistan.
In the compressed Group III format, the eight teams will be split into two pools. The top two from each pool will get into the promotional playoffs, with the winners moving up to Group II next season. The other four teams, meanwhile, face relegation contests with the losers going down to Group IV.
The event will be held at the outdoor hard courts of Kompleks Tenis Tun Razak from March 25 to 28. The official draw to determine the four-team groupings will be held a day prior to the opening round of matches
The Kingdom’s historic mission to Doha brought NagaWorld and Tennis Cambodia together in 2012 and the alliance has since gained a lot of traction and strength in the next two campaigns in Dubai and Tehran, where the National team secured its Group III Status.
“As a company based in Cambodia, Nagaworld is proudly privileged to support the national team and be part of a great sporting moment that will bring joy and glory to millions of people back home,” said NagaWorld executive director Pern Chen at a press conference yesterday.
As well as funding Tennis Cambodia’s Junior Tennis Initiative, NagaWorld sponsored one leg of the Cambodian ITF Men’s Futures in 2011 and 2012.
“I would like to express my deep gratitude to NagaWorld for their sustained support. We surprised the world in Doha. We have protected our gains in Dubai and Tehran.
“With NagaWorld’s gust of wind behind us we are determined to go above and beyond,” said Tennis Cambodia secretary-general Tep Rithivit in his address to members of the media.
“Our realistic expectation is to retain Group III status come what may and any outcome above that will be a great bonus,” he said.
“Tennis Cambodia owes its present happier clime to the vision and leadership of our president Cham Prasidh, who has played a pivotal role in strengthening the federation,” he said.
“Every campaign is tougher than the previous one. There are always new challenges to deal with. They never deter us. Instead they make us stronger,” Tep Rithivit said.
The Cambodian team welcomes a talented French-born new youngster Delton Sophana Kim, who is soon to be 16 and will become the youngest player from the Kingdom if he gets to play a rubber in Kuala Lumpur. Another fresh face in the team is that of local player Doeum Sopheaphearun
Bun Kenny, who has an impressive 11-2 win-loss Davis Cup record in the past three years, will again spearhead the country’s challenge in the company of Phalkun Mam, Long Samneang and Delton Sophana Kim.
In Doha 2012, Cambodia defeated Jordan, Qatar, Singapore, Myanmar and Turkmenistan, with both Bun Kenny and Panhara Mam winning all their five singles rubbers.
The following year in Dubai, Cambodia beat Pacific Oceania 2-1 and United Arab Emirates 2-1 to make the promotional playoffs, while losing 0-3 to Vietnam, 1-2 to Hong Kong and 0-3 to Malaysia.
Last year on the clay courts of Tehran, Cambodia lost two group ties but defeated Turkmenistan and Singapore to retain their Group III status.