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Myanmar to host Davis Cup

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Cambodia’s Bun Kenny (back left) and Mam Vetu (back right) play their Davis Cup Group IV doubles rubber against Myanmar in Doha on April 18.

Cambodia’s Bun Kenny (back left) and Mam Vetu (back right) play their Davis Cup Group IV doubles rubber against Myanmar in Doha on April 18.

The International Tennis Federation has awarded the hosting rights for the 2013 Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group III and IV events to Myanmar, highlighting the country’s rapid pace of transformation.

The Tennis Federation of Myanmar will organise the two group events back-to-back from April 22 to May 5 at the 10-court Thein Byu Tennis Stadium in Yangon.

The first week will be taken up by the Group III series involving eight countries, including Cambodia, which stormed the Davis Cup scene early this year with a sensational Group IV debut in Doha, Qatar, leading to its promotion to the next tier of this multi-layered competition.

“It is an ideal venue for us. The climate is just like ours. Cambodian players know the territory well and Myanmar is our regional partner. We are looking forward to another grand show,” Tennis Federation of Cambodia Secretary-General Tep Rithivit, who led the Kingdom’s promotional bid as the non-playing captain, told the Post yesterday.

Cambodia will compete with Hong Kong, China, Iran, Malaysia, Oman, Pacific Oceania, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam for the two promotional slots to Group II on offer.

The 11-team Group IV involves hosts Myanmar, alongside Bahrain, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Singapore and Turkmenistan.

“This is a giant step forward for Myanmar, and the Davis Cup will be a catalyst for the development of tennis at all levels throughout the country,” Tennis Federation of Myanmar President U Aung Maw Thein said in a statement, thanking the world’s governing body for granting the hosting rights.

Myanmar is now in the midst of an international tennis pro-ject, focusing on the creation of a strong base for coaches and players. It will also be the host of next year’s 27th SEA Games, the region’s biennial multi-discipline sports competition.

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