Seasoned Davis Cup players Bun Kenny and Phalkun Mam pulled off a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win in a crucial doubles rubber to steer Cambodia to a 2-1 win over Krygyzstan yesterday in their Pool A round robin match in the 2017 Asia/Oceania Group IV cycle on the outdoor hard courts of Isa, Bahrain.
This was the second victory for Cambodia in the five-team pool, having beaten Myanmar 3-0 in the opener on Monday.Non-playing captain Tep Rithivit expressed relief after spending hours at court side watching rapidly shifting fortunes for his team.
Mam made short work of Farhad Urumbaev 6-1, 6-2 in the opening singles, taking just 45 minutes to wrap up the match.
Cambodia pitched in newcomer Our Sarith for the second singles and the left-hander held his own against Evgeniy Babak for the best part of the first set. But with Babak playing the big points with great assurance, he closed out at 7-5 and then went on to dominate his rival 6-2 in the second.
With the scores level at 1-1, Kenny partnered Mam for the decisive doubles against Babak and Denis Surotin. The Cambodian pair struggled to hit rhythm in the first set as Babak inspired his partner to raise his game and they polished off the opening set 6-3.
It was at the start of the second set that Kenny and Mam began to hit their stride while keeping their serves tight. After an early break of Surotin, the Cambodians kept pushing forward to level the set scores.
There were some anxious moments when Kenny dropped his serve in the decider early on, but midway through the set it was plain that the Cambodian pair were clearly heading for the tie-deciding win.
With two wins out of two matches Cambodia have stepped closer to a place in the promotion playoffs.
The Kingdom will be up against Bahrain today, and after a day of rest will take on Saudi Arabia in the last of the round robin matches.