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Lebanon too strong for Cambodia in opener

Cambodia’s Bun Kenny took the fight to Lebanon’s Giovani Samaha before going down 7-3 in a second-set tie-break.
Cambodia’s Bun Kenny took the fight to Lebanon’s Giovani Samaha before going down 7-3 in a second-set tie-break. Sreng Meng Srun

Lebanon too strong for Cambodia in opener

American-born teenager Hady Habib and 22-year old Giovani Samaha won their singles rubbers to pave the way for Lebanon’s 3-0 triumph over Cambodia in a Group B tie on the opening day of the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group III at the Esteghlal International Tennis Academy in the Iranian capital Tehran yesterday.

Cambodia’s non-playing captain Tep Rithivit pitched Tan Nysan, who rejoined the national team after a gap of four years, in the first singles against Habib, who used his steady serves and sound ground game to beat 27-year-old Nysan 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 12 minutes.

While Habib managed to convert two crucial break points that came his way, Nysan, who served six doubles faults in the contest, spurned the only chance he had to break his rival.

Left-handed Samaha faced little difficulty in taking the first set against against Bun Kenny in the second singles in just 27 minutes. But the 26-year-old Cambodian right-hander took the fight to his rival in the hour-long second set forcing a tie-breaker, which Samaha wrapped at 7-3.

With Lebanon clinching an unassailable 2-0 lead, the dead doubles rubber was only of academic interest. For the record, the Lebanese pair of Jad Ballout and Kamil Khalil took 75 minutes to get the measure of Nysan and Phalkun Mam 6-4,6-3.

In another Pool B fixture, Qatar took a winning 2-0 lead over Singapore after winning both the singles rubbers.

Cambodia will play, Syria, Singapore, Qatar in the next three group ties Meanwhile, in Group A, hosts Iran swamped Pacific Oceania 3-0, while Hong Kong got past Turkmenistan 2-1.

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