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Cambodia eager to do well as rivals name Cup squads

Cambodia eager to do well as rivals name Cup squads

21 davis cup team
The Cambodian Davis Cup team bound for Myanmar and the Group III competition of the Asia Oceania Zone, from left to right: Mam Phalkun, Bun Kenny, Long Samneang, Mam Panhara and national team coach Braen Aneiros. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post

Cambodian Davis Cuppers are eager to change the arc of the Kingdom’s tennis history when they get down to their Asia Oceania Group III campaign in Myanmar at the end of the month.

This time one year ago, Cambodia were virtual unknowns, having joined the Davis Cup family as its newest member. But what unfolded during that flaming week in Doha was a Cinderella story, Cambodia spectacularly earning a promotional ticket on debut from Group IV.

It will be a huge step up for Cambodia when the squad reaches Yangon’s Theinbyu Tennis Centre for the April 29 to May 5 Group III cycle.

For a nation with just 30 tennis courts, most of them in private five star hotels for the high-flyers, the Doha round represented a remarkable sea change.

The high cost of that unexpected but deserving success is the burden of high expectations that the team inevitably shoulders this time.

Will it help or hurt? Non-playing captain Tep Rithivit has a balanced answer.

“We have to temper our expectations with ground reality. It’s a lot tougher now. We are determined to do well and I am confident we will,” he told the Post.

Meanwhile the process of team nominations is now complete with all but Pacific Oceania naming their squads.

The eight contenders – Cambodia, Hong Kong, Iran, Vietnam, Malaysia, Pacific Oceania, Oman and United Arab Emirates – will be split into two pools of four each. The top two from each group will advance to a new promotional pool from which two will make it to Group II in 2014. The bottom two in the relegation pool will drop back to Group IV.

The following are the official team nominations.
Cambodia: Bun Kenny, Mam Phalkun, Mam Panhara, Long Samneang, Tep Rithivit (captain)
Hong Kong: Wing Luen Wong, Pak Long Yeung, Kevin Kung, Siu Chuen Lam, Christopher Lai (captain)

Iran: Shahin Khaledan, Anoosha Shahgholi, Rouzbeh Kamran, Ashkan Shokoofi, Saeed Ahmadvand (captain)

Malaysia: Mohd Assri Merzuki, Yew-Ming Si, Syed Agil Naguib, Muhd Ashaari Bin Zainal-Abidin (captain)

Oman: Mohammed Al Nabhani, Khaild Al Nabhani, Saleh Al Zadjali, Fahad-Qamar Al Hashmi, Siddiq Al Hashmi (captain)

UAE: Omar Awadhy, Hamad Abbas Janahi, Mahmoud-Nader Al Baloushi, Faisal Bastaki, Mahmoud Khalifa Al Balushi (captain)

Vietnam: Thien Nguyen Hoang, Nam Hoang Ly, Khanh-Quoc Le, Hoang Anh Khoa Tran, Tran Duc Quynh (captain)

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