Cambodia trounced regional rivals Myanmar 3-0 on Wednesday for their third straight Pool B win in the round robin stage of the 2012 Asia-Oceania Davis Cup Group IV series at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha.
Cambodia's singles nominations, Mam Panhara and Bun Kenny, coasted to straight set victories and then joined hands in the doubles to sweep the tie against a nation whose Davis Cup journey began as Burma way back in 1955.
In the wake of Cambodia's successive wins over Singapore, Qatar and Myanmar, the debutants retain their hold on Pool B and are certain to make the semifinals playing over the weekend.
A late rally by Myanmar's Aung Kyaw Naing in the second set was quelled by Panhara Mam, who closed out the first singles rubber 6-1, 7-5 to give Cambodia a 1-0 lead.
In quick time, 21-year old Bun Kenny was all over Phyo Min Thar, who is two months younger, in the second singles. The gulf between the two in court skills was so wide that Kenny ended up with two love sets 6-0, 6-0 following his similar show against Qatar the previous day.
The doubles rubber was dead for all practical purposes but the Cambodian pair of Bun Kenny and Panhara's brother Mam Vetu were in no mood to relax or relent.
They were slightly shaken in the first set by the Myanmar combination of Nge Hnaung and captain Min Min, but wrested control to post a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
“Watching Mam Panhara and Bun Kenny put so much into their effort was indeed a treat. Both are pumped up and their confidence levels are higher than I have ever known,” non-playing captain Tep Rithivit told the Post.
“Can you believe it. We are no longer such a long shot as the rest of the world thought we were. A semifinal place is well within our sights now. I hope this momentum will carry us to our ultimate goal of earning a promotional ticket to Group III.”
Cambodia enjoyed their well-deserved rest day yesterday and today will meet Jordan, who went down 1-2 to Singapore on Wednesday.
Abu Dayeh gave Jordan a 1-0 advantage when he won the first singles against Singapore's Hao Yuan Ng in two fierce tie-breaks 7-6, 7-6.
But the City State restored parity when Roy Hobbs pulled off a three-set win over Fawaz El Hourani 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and then combined with Rohan Kamdar to down the Jordanian pair of Abu Dayeh and Fawaz El Hourani 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, signalling Singapore's 2-1 triumph.
Meanwhile in Pool A, Turkmenistan raced to their third straight win, completing a 3-0 rout of Saudi Arabia.
United Arab Emirates scored their second win, blanking Bahrain 3-0.
Semifinals are slated for Saturday, with the finals guaranteed an advance to the Asia-Oceania Group III next year.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]