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Tennis: Vietnam win overall top spot at Davis Cup - Asia/Oceania Group III

by NDO01 July 2019 Last updated at 10:17 AM

VTV.vn - Vietnam tennis team beat Syria 2-0 in the top place play-offs on June 29 to wrap up their 2019 Davis Cup - Asia/Oceania Group III with success, as they officially earned their right to play in Davis Cup - Asia/Oceania Group II in 2020.

A day earlier, Vietnam were named Group A winners after three consecutive wins over Sri Lanka, hosts Singapore and Kuwait in the group stage, thus earning an automatic Davis Cup promotion slot.

The Vietnamese team entered the play-offs on Saturday, facing Syria - Group B winners - to decide the first two final places.

Syria were a big surprise at this year’s tournament as they beat strong rivals Iran, who were demoted from Group II last year. Syria’s No. 1 player Kareem Al Allaf, who only ranked 1282nd in the ITF rankings, impressively beat Iran's Shanin Khaledan (ITF No. 594th).

The Syrian also beat Nguyen Hoang Thien 7-6, 6-1 at the Davis Cup - Asia/Oceania Group III in Malaysia in 2015, although Vietnam won 2-1 over the Syrian team at this tournament, thanks to Ly Hoang Nam’s victory in the single match and another win in the double match by Hoang Nam and his teammate Minh Quan.

In their meetings yesterday, Vietnam's No. 2 player Trinh Linh Giang came out in the first clash facing Syria’s No. 2 Yacoub Makhzoume, who has better ITF rankings than Giang (No. 1675th against No. 1778th).

Right from the first set, both proved to be equals. 24-year-old Makhzoume and Giang tied 6-6, pushing the set to a tie-break series, in which the Vietnamese won 7-3 to take his first set victory.

Set 2 witness the continued balance and tension from the two players. The score at the end of game 12 was 6-6, once again forcing the match to a tie-break. Hanoi’s player was in better form at the decisive moment, surpassing his opponent 9-7 to take a 2-0 overall victory after two sets.

Losing in the first single battle, Syria put all their strength and focus into the second match. 21-year-old Kareem Al Allaf started well, beating Vietnam’s Ly Hoang Nam 8-6 in the tie-break of the first set. However, Nam's experience helped him to spark up. Playing impressively, Vietnam's No. 1 player trounced his opponent in the two remaining sets at 6-1, 6-0, thus wrapping up with a 2-1 victory.

After the two wins in the first two single matches, Vietnam did not need to play the remaining double match and were officially crowned champions in the Davis Cup - Asia/Oceania Group III this year, as well as winning the right to be promoted to Group II in 2020.

Thanks to their impressive performance, the team have been awarded a bonus worth US$25,000 in cash, in which US$10,000 came from the Vietnam Tennis Federation and the remaining from various other sponsors.

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