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Phalkun to attend Davis Cup reform meet

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Tennis Cambodia’s head of Junior Development Phalkun Mam is to attend an ITF Conference on the Davis Cup on Monday. Photo supplied

Phalkun to attend Davis Cup reform meet

National player and Tennis Cambodia’s head of Junior Development, Phalkun Mam will represent the Kingdom at the landmark International Tennis Federation (ITF) Conference and Annual General Meeting opening on Monday at the Ritz Carlton Orlando Hotel, Grande Lakes in Florida.

Key reforms to the tennis world’s oldest team competition the Davis Cup will be voted on by the member nations on August 16 as part of delivering tennis to the future generations including a transformative grand finals.

The ITF will host a series of workshops, meetings and Panel discussions aimed at communicating its ITF2024 strategic priorities. The presence of Cambodia in this annual gathering assumes added significance in the light of International Tennis Hall of Fame awarding the inaugural organizational excellence award to the Kingdom at the 2017 AGM in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, last year.”

“It is imperative we are represented at this historic assembly as one of the most recognised, rewarded and well supported tennis nations in the South East Asian region by the ITF.

“We have heightened responsibility to live up to the expectations and reputation last year’s prestigious award had imposed on us.

“I feel Phalkun both as a player, emerging coach and a prospective administrator will bring back a wealth of knowledge and information that will help us brighten up our future,” Tennis Cambodia secretary-general Tep Rithivit told The Post.

Just before his departure from Phnom Penh to the United States, where he was born and played his college tennis in Washington DC, Phalkun said he was as eager to be in the midst of some of the strongest tennis nations in the world and also be part of history being rewritten.

“My aim is to make the best out of this great opportunity Tennis Cambodia has given me to bring back positives that will drive us in the right direction,” Phalkun said.

On Tuesday, ITF president David Haggerty, who paid an official visit to Cambodia in early January last year, will formally open the 2018 ITF conference, before a gender equality discussion panel with members of the ITF’s Women in Sport Committee and WTA chief executive Steve Simon.

The proposed changes to the format of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas forms part of the list of reforms that will be put to vote by its member nations.

The format changes to Davis Cup that will be voted on and take effect from 2019 include the creation of an annual season-ending Davis Cup Finals in a world class European location to crown the world champions.

Other suggested changes are creation of a new 24-team home and away qualifying event played in February, with the winning nations going through to the Finals and the losing nations competing in Zone Group action.

An 18-team finals, featuring 12 qualifiers, the previous year’s four semifinalists and two wild card nations, will consist of six round-robin groups of three teams followed by quarterfinals, semifinals and the final.

The six group winners plus two second-placed teams with the best records based on sets won and games won will qualify for the quarterfinals.

The ties will be downsized from best of five rubbers to three, and singles matches at all levels will be best of three tie-break sets, departing from the age old tradition of five advantage sets.

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