Cambodia and Saudi Arabia Moved to Group III

Cambodia and Saudi Arabia will contest Asia/Oceania Zone Group III in the 2018 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas campaign after winning promotion at the Group IV event in Isa Town, Bahrain on 8 April.

In two very different promotional play-off encounters on Saturday, Cambodia eased past Oman 2-0 before Saudi Arabia rallied back from the brink to defeat Singapore 2-1 and reach Group III for only the second time in seven years.

Cambodia, taking part in Group IV for the first time since its debut year in Davis Cup in 2012, bounced straight back into Group III after winning all five of their ties this week.

The Cambodians had spent four straight years in Group III before relegation condemned them to Group IV this year, but their performances in Bahrain this week more than merited an immediate return to the fourth tier of the competition.

Cambodia lost just two rubbers all week – in pool stage victories over Kyrgyzstan and Saudi Arabia – and Samneang Lond and Kenny Bun put the gloss on a perfect week with 36 62 64 and 62 61 wins over Mohammed Al Nabhani and Abdullah Al Barwani, respectively.

The Saudis were similarly dominant, winning nine rubbers on the trot this week before Cambodia delivered them a wake-up call in their final group game. They reset their focus in time for Saturday’s promotional play-off, but it took all their resolve to grind out promotion at the expense of a stubborn Singapore side.

Roy Hobbs gave Singapore an early lead with a thumping 60 62 win over Fahad Al Saad, but Saudia Arabia’s Anmar Alhogbani rallied back from the brink to defeat Shaheed Alam 46 64 63 in the second rubber. Al Saad and Alhogbani sealed promotion by defeating the Singapore duo in straight sets.

Meanwhile, it was a miserable week for hosts Bahrain, who finished in eighth place after losing their fourth of five ties this week in the 7th-8th play-off against Tajikistan.

Mongolia also ended their week on a disappointing note. Having only missed out on a promotional play-off spot by virtue of Oman’s superior record of rubbers won this week, Mongolia ended the week with defeat after falling to Myanmar in the 5th-6th play-off.