Tennis Chief Eyes Promotion in 2019 after Nail-biting Defeat in Pakistan
The Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand set their sight firmly fixed on a promotion to the Davis Cup Zonal Group I in 2019 following a narrow 2-3 defeat to host Pakistan in the Group II final tie over the weekend.
After trailing 2-1 from two reversed singles and doubles rubbers from Friday and Saturday, Thailand levelled the tie for 2-2 when Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul won a marathon battle over Aisam Qureshi 7-5 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-3) at the Pakistan Sports Complex in Islamabad .However, 37-year-old Aqeel Khan won the deciding rubber by outlasting Kittipong Wachiramanowong 6-4 6-3 3-6 2-6 6-2 to seal off the victory.
The loss meant Thailand will remain in Group II next year while Pakistan earned a slot into the Zone Asia/Oceania Group I next year.
Kitsombat duirng the Davis Cup tie in Pakistan.
Unfamiliarity on the grass surface was the main problem for the Thailand’s loss as they barely played on the lawn which is scare in Thailand. The Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand president Kitsombat Euammongkol was satisfied with the overall picture of his side and set an ambitious target to achieve further next year.
“We came so close at winning even though we had the disadvantage of playing on grass. I have to give credits to Wishaya and Kittipong for their hard fought efforts. But in the end Aqeel pulled it off with solid play and good game plan to win the crucial point,” said Sombat, the former national player.
“Through better preparation, I believe he can become the champion of Group II and move to Group I. Our team is second to just three or four countries in Asia. Other than that we are quite tough in this continent,” added Sombat who urges the Sports Authority of Thailand to spare some budget for building tennis complex with clay and grass courts, the two surfaces that Thais have yet to improve, in Muek Lek, Saraburi.
“It’s time we have grass and clay courts. Muek Lek is situated on the mountain which is good for players to improve their stamina,” the Thai tennis boss said.