Dubai: UAE avoided relegation from the Davis Cup’s Asia/Oceania Zone Group III by thrashing neighbours Oman 3-0 at Dubai’s Aviation Club on Saturday.
It was also a good day for Turkmenistan, who created history by entering Group III for the first time, while Hong Kong all but sealed a return to Group II.
Placed in the relegation pool for survival in Group III, the team UAE were emphatic against Oman. First Hamad Abbas Al Janahi fought well for a 7-6 (9), 4-6, 6-2 win over Mohammad Al Nabhani, before Omar Behroozian sealed the match with a 6-1, 6-3 result over Khalid Al Nabhani. In the doubles, Saud Al Ali and Al Janahi breezed past Khalid Al Nabhani and Mudrik Al Rawahi 6-3, 6-4.
The UAE will next be up against Iran to determine fifth place after the Iranians disposed of Pacific Oceania 2-1.
Turkmenistan, regular Davis Cup participants since 2004, beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 in their promotion tie to book their Group III place for 2014.
Hong Kong took a big step towards to promotion to Group II with a 2-1 win over Cambodia, but they will have to wait for the final day of competition as Malaysia produced a dramatic comeback to stun Vietnam 2-1 to throw the promotion pool wide open.
Down 3-1 in the deciding third set of the doubles, Malaysia took the next five games after a powercut on Court No.6 forced tournament referee Nitin Kannamwar to shift the match to centre court. Vietnam protested, but the ITF official backed his decision.
Hong Kong hold the edge going into the final day, but the race for the second spot will be tough, with Vietnam up against Hong Kong and Malaysia facing Cambodia.
Joining Turkmenistan in Group III next year will be Singapore following their hard-fought 2-1 win over Qatar.
Singaporean teenager Issac Yong Jie Ong subdued Mubarak Zayid 6-2, 7-6 (5), only to see Mousa Zayed restore parity with a 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-3 win over the well-travelled Roy Alif Hobbs. But Hobbs and Rohan Kamdar beat Qatar duo Sultan Khalfan Al Alawi and Mousa Zayed 6-4, 6-2 in the doubles to book their promotion place.
Meanwhile, the Group IV placements were also decided, with Jordan beating Bahrain to clinch fifth, Myanmar getting the better of Bangladesh to take seventh and Iraq taking ninth after registering their only win against bottom-placed Kyrgyzstan.
Relegation Pool: Iran bt Pacific Oceania 2-1; UAE bt Oman 3-0 (Hamad Abbas Al Janahi bt Mohammad Al Nabhani 7-6 (9), 4-6, 6-2; Omar Behroozian bt Khalid Al Nabhani 6-3, 6-1; Saud Al Ali/Hamad Abbas Al Janahi bt Khalid Al Nabhani/Mudrik Al Rawahi 6-3, 6-4).
Promotion Pool: Hong Kong China bt Cambodia 2-1; Malaysia bt Vietnam 2-1.
Singapore bt Qatar 2-1; Turkmenistan bt Saudi Arabia 2-0.
Placement ties: Fifth-sixth places — Jordan bt Bahrain 2-0; Seventh-eighth places — Myanmar bt Malaysia 2-0; Ninth-tenth places — Iraq bt Kyrgyzstan 2-0.