Cambodia will be heading to the Iranian capital Tehran for the 2014 Asia Oceania Group III Davis Cup campaign at the Enghelab Sport Complex during the week commencing June 9. The Group IV cycle involving 11 nations will also be held there simultaneously.
Hosts Iran will be joined by Cambodia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Singapore, Syria, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates. The eight teams will be split into two round-robin pools with play-offs determining the top two teams moving up to Group II next year and the bottom two sliding back to Group IV.
The 11 teams contesting Group IV are Bahrain, Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Oman, Pacific Oceania, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Cambodia’s spectacular 2012 debut in the world’s oldest team event caught the world’s attention when the Kingdom won all five of their matches in Doha to earn promotion to Group III, a status the team zealously guarded last year in Dubai.
The Englehab Sport Complex has been Iran’s Davis Cup battlefront for several home fixtures but this is the first time that the sprawling facility will be staging two group events at the same time.
What awaits players is a unique playing surface. The outdoor red clay courts at the ESC present a challenge in themselves, adding a layer of anguish to an exciting experience.
Tennis Cambodia secretary-general and the team’s non-playing captain Tep Rithivit described the trip to Iran as both exciting and significant.
“Iran we all know has been regarded as a good host. I am as thrilled as any of the other members of my team to be playing there,” he told the Post yesterday. “Red clay is not the kind of surface our players are used to, but this is what will make us more determined than ever to do well.
“Now that uncertainty over the venue and dates has been removed, it gives us ample time to plan our training and preparations and, as every Davis Cup nation knows, no amount of preparation is good enough. We have to be absolutely at the top our game.
“We look forward to another fruitful campaign as we reunite with our Davis Cup partners and co-sponsors. No effort will be spared to ensure that we do our utmost to get the best possible result. A promotion to Group II will work wonders for Tennis Cambodia,” Rithivit added.