Dubai: The UAE tennis coach has urged his players not to take it easy and maintain their momentum going into the remainder of their pool encounters after winning 2-1 against Pacific Oceania on the opening day of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group IV at Aviation Club here late on Wednesday.
“It’s always such a nice feeling to start off with a win, but our work has just begun. We now need to stay focused on the remaining two matches [against Cambodia and Vietnam] over the next two days,” Jorge Martin Munoz told Gulf News.
“We had a plan and we stuck to it, but I am glad that we won in the end. We must not spend too much time on this win but concentrate on our next match,” he added.
The major part of the good work for the hosts was done by the experienced Mahmoud Nader Al Baloushi, as the 33-year-old outlasted William O’Connell in three sets. Omar Bahroozian then went on to outplay his 42-year-old left-handed opponent Gilles De Gouy in straight sets.
Hamad Abbas, who had been rushed to hospital the previous night for a suspected kidney infection, then teamed up with Saud Al Ali to match the Pacific Oceania duo of Brett Baudinet and Daniel Llarenas shot for shot initially before going down 4-6, 6-2, 6-7 (8) in the doubles.
“It would have been nice to have had a 3-0 scoreline, but a win is a win and we will take a lot of confidence from this result against a team about whom we knew very little,” Munoz said.
“Mahmoud [Nader] showed us the way and opened the door for our win. I certainly did not expect it to be easy,” the coach added.
Bahroozian was thrilled with the UAE’s win coming through the singles. “We just need to keep tough mentally. We are on home ground and we should know how to handle the pressure,” Bahroozian said.
Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam were the other three teams opening the Group III competition with wins against Oman, Iran and Cambodia respectively.
Hong Kong defeated Oman 2-1, while Malaysia went the distance into the early hours of Thursday for a similar 2-1 win. Vietnam also got their campaign off to a winning start following their 3-0 result against Cambodia.
Meanwhile, in Group IV action, Qatar became the only team with an unbeaten record following their 2-1 victory against Jordan to stay on top of Pool A.
Singapore strengthened their claims for a place in Pool A with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bangladesh, while Myanmar returned from a one-day break to secure a 3-0 result against winless Kyrgystan, while Bahrain outlasted Iraq 2-1.
Group III (Pool A): Hong Kong China bt Oman 2-1; Malaysia bt Iran 2-1; (Pool B) Vietnam bt Cambodia 3-0; UAE bt Pacific Oceania 2-1: Mahmoud Nader Al Blooshi bt William O’Connell 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Omar Bahroozian bt Gilles De Gouy 6-3, 6-3; Brett Baudinet/Daniel Llarenas bt Hamad Abbas Al Janahi/Saud Al Ali 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (8).
Group IV (Pool): Bahrain bt Iraq 2-1; Singapore bt Bangladesh 2-1; Qatar bt Jordan 2-1; Myanmar bt Kyrgystan 3-0.