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Lebanon shatter Thais’ Group 1 dream

Lebanon shatter Thais’ Group 1 dream

TENNIS: The Thai Davis Cup team missed their chance to earn a promotion to World Group 1 as they suffered a 3-1 loss to hosts Lebanon in a play-off battle on Saturday (Mar 7).

Tennis
By Bangkok Post

Monday 9 March 2020, 09:03AM


Kittirat Kerdlarphee, left, and Phongsapak Kerdlarphee in action against Lebanon. Photo: PR

Kittirat Kerdlarphee, left, and Phongsapak Kerdlarphee in action against Lebanon. Photo: PR

Only one singles rubber was possible at the Automobile Touring and Sport Club of Lebanon in rain-hit Beirut on Friday (Mar 6) when Benjamin Hassan of the host country outclassed Thailand No.2 Jirat Navasirisomboon 6-1, 6-2.

This left Thailand’s top-ranked player Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul with a onerous task of taking part in two singles rubbers on Saturday.

The day got underway with Wishaya prevailing over Hasan Ibrahim of Lebanon 7-6 (10/8), 3-6, 7-6 (7/5) to tie the match 1-1 for Thailand.

Kerdlarphee brothers, Kittirat and Phongsapak, were then involved in a gruelling doubles battle with Hassan and Giovani Samaha.

Kittirat and Phongsapak put up a strong fight but eventually ran out of steam to concede the rubber 6-3, 6-7 (7/9), 6-0 to allow the Lebanese side grab a 2-1 upper hand.

In reverse singles, Wishaya, ranked No.623 in the world, failed to match the wits of world No.348 Hassan as the topped-ranked players from the two countries faced off in what proved to be last rubber of the play-off.

Benjamin was a cut above his opponent as he recorded a comfortable 6-2, 6-0 victory over Wishaya to give Lebanon an unassailable 3-1 lead.

The second reverse singles was called off.

Lebanon earned a place in the in World Group I ties in September. Thailand stay put in World Group 2.

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