Cambodia’s Davis Cup Squad See Mixed Results in Tehran

Cambodia’s Davis Cup team ended its 2014 campaign with mixed feelings after missing out on the opportunity for promotion to the Oceana Asia Group II while avoiding relegation in a close-run affair in Tehran.

Cambodia, which came third in a group of four that included Syria, Malaysia and Turkmenistan, secured its place in Group III for next year after victory in a playoff against Singapore, who finished at the bottom of Pool B on Saturday.

“Many think that this year was no big deal, Cambodia is remaining in Group III again. But in actuality it could have ended very differently,” said Phalkun Mam, who played in Tehran, via email Saturday.

After being one point away from making the top two of Pool A and ultimately missing the opportunity for promotion, Cambodia had to overcome Singapore to ensure it would avoid relegation, winning 2-1 as Phalkun Mam defeated Joshua Liu 6-4, 6-3 and Cambodia’s top player, Kenny Bun, demolished Roy Hobbs 6-0, 6-0. Pannhara Mam and Samneang Long lost their doubles match.

The campaign got off on the wrong foot with a 2-1 defeat against Syria on Wednesday, which was quickly rectified with a convincing 2-1 victory over Turkmenistan as Phalkun Mam and Kenny Bun both won comfortably against Georgiy Pochay and Aleksandr Ernepesov, respectively.

Any hopes of joining the likes of Indonesia and Kuwait in Group II were dashed on Friday after losing 2-1 to Malaysia, the highest seeded team in Group III, despite Kenny Bun breezing past Mohd Merzuki.

“The important thing we want people to know is that we fought, we tried our best for a chance to move up to Group II and in the end we fought to stay in Group III,” Phalkun said Saturday.

This was the third Davis Cup campaign for Cambodia since re-entering the competition in Oceana Asia Group IV in 2012, winning promotion to Group III in their first year.

wright@cambodiadaily.com

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