SL to meet Qatar today in bid to regain Group-II promotion

Davis Cup in Colombo


Jabor Al-Mutawa of Qatar in action in his Singles against Malaysia’s Hao Sheng Koay (not seen) in their Singles rubber at the Davis Cup Group-III ending today at the SLTA, Colombo. The former won it and made sure Qatar is ensured a place in the semi-finals. They will take on hosts Sri Lanka today in their bid to get Group-II promotion.

(Pic by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

by Revata S. Silva

Sri Lanka’s hopes for regaining her Davis Cup Group-II promotion lies in their semi-final today, against Qatar, at the Asia-Oceania Zone Group-II, sponsored by BNP Paribas, at the SLTA clay courts in Colombo.

The six-day event will come to an end today and as Sri Lanka are the Group ‘A’ champions, they are more fancied to win today. Qatar are the Group ‘B’ runners-up.

Further the two players representing Sri Lanka have shown reasonable form in the three previous ties: Harshana Godamanna, in particular, has not lost in his Singles while winning two of the three Doubles he played, partnering the other Singles player Sharmal Dissanayake. Both those Doubles were, notably, tie-deciding rubbers.

After losing to Group ‘B’ winners Lebanon on Thursday, Qatar managed to overcome challenge from Malaysia by winning the two Singles in the best-of-three tie. Jabor Al-Mutawa won 7-6 (7), 1-6, 6-4 against Hao Sheng Koay before Qatar’s Mubarak Shannan beat Mohad Assri Merzuki when the latter retired when leading 3-2 in the first set.

As a result Qatar, the Group ‘B’ runner-up will take on hosts Sri Lanka, the ‘A’ Group winner, today in a bid to get Group-II promotion for next year. In the other semi, the Group ‘B’ winner Lebanon will meet Group ‘A’ runner-up Jordan today.

The other nations taking part this year, Malaysia, Pacific Oceania (a region), Syria, Turkmenistan and UAE, will play in relegation play-off also today.

After the play-offs, the last two of these five countries will be demoted to zonal Group-IV, the bottom-most tier in the Group, for next year. The three remaining countries will have to stay in Group-III, along with the two losing nations in the semi-finals, next year as well.


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