SPORTS

Pacific team in Davis Cup

Grouped with top seed Iran, Turkmenistan and Hong Kong   Nine countries are currently battling it out in the heart of Iran to progress through to the final stages of
16 Jul 2016 10:54
Pacific team in Davis Cup

Grouped with top seed Iran, Turkmenistan and Hong Kong

 

Nine countries are currently battling it out in the heart of Iran to progress through to the final stages of the prestigious Davis Cup.

The group three stage, which commenced on the July 11 at the Enghelab Sports Complex in Tehran is one of two Oceania group stages and participating Pacific Island countries have joined forces to create a Pacific Oceania side.

The Pacific Oceania side are grouped with top seed Iran as well as Turkmenistan and Hong Kong, and consists of famous names such as William O’Connell, Fiji’s number one player, Brett Baudinet (Cook Islands), Daniel Llarenas (Guam) and Heve Kelley. Our Pacific Oceania side are being led by Gilles De Gouy of Tahiti.

O’Connell who comes from Nadi had his first match against Shahin Khaledan of Iran and the 1 hour 15 minute battle saw Khaledan overcome the Fijian native 6-1, 6-1.

“The final score does not reflect the match,” explained De Gouy. “William fought fully on each point, his opponent was just better at getting back the ball. It was a great quality game with lots of rallies unfortunately Shahin was just too steady for our Fijian player.”

Pacific Oceania’s Heve Kelley played the opening match of the group three tournament,  against 34-year-old Shanghohi Amoosha. The Iranian has represented his country for the last 15 years.

It was a close match but Amoosha’s sheer experience saw him victorious, ending the one-hour match 6-1, 6-4 despite Kelley’s brave efforts in the second set of the match.

Apart from singles matches, the Pacific team managed to overcome Turkmenistan in the team stages 2-1 after they went down 3-0 to Iran earlier in the day.

“We are definitely more prepared now and we are still in the race to get to the playoffs,” said De Gouy.

 

BACKGROUND

The Davis Cup is a world famous event which was founded in 1900 by Dwight F. Davis with the intention of it being a British Isles vv the United States-type tourney. It has since expanded and this year’s tourney has a total of 135 countries participating across a variety of world locations. Our Pacific Oceania side are returning to the tourney after first playing in 1995.

At the time this story went to press, the Pacific Oceania side was to play Hong Kong next which will determine whether or not the team progresses through to the playoffs.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

raevenn.breen@fijisun.com.fj@fijisun.com.fj

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