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Thais enter Davis Cup tie on a wing and a prayer

TENNIS: Thailand remain cautious ahead of their Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group 2 first round tie against Sri Lanka despite their superior head-to-head record and the host team missing their No.1 player.

Tennis
By Bangkok Post

Friday 2 February 2018, 10:36AM


The Thai team at the press conference yesterday. Photo: PR

The Thai team at the press conference yesterday. Photo: PR

The tie will take place this weekend on the clay courts at Sri Lanka Tennis Association in Colombo.

Thailand have never lost to Sri Lanka in seven meetings and while the host nation will be without their top player Harshana Godamanna, captain Weerapat Dokmaiklee refused to underestimate their opponents and pointed to the clay court surface as a crucial factor for the outcome this weekend.

“Sri Lanka’s No.1 player Harshana Godamanna has pulled out of the competition but it doesn’t mean that we will beat them easily,” said skipper Weerapat.

“The tie will be played on clay which is not the surface our players are familiar with.

“Anyway we still believe we can win this tie. I hope we can have a good start and win the two singles matches on the first day.”

Twins Sonchat and Sanchai Ratiwatana, who will play the doubles match, echoed the sentiment of their captain.

“We don’t think the tie against Sri Lanka will be easy. People may think that we are favourites but clay is not our favourite surface.

“However, we will play our best and of course we are here to win but anything can happen!”

Thailand’s No.1 Wichaya Trongcharoenchaikul also expressed concerns over the playing surface.

“I’m a bit worried about playing on clay because it is quite slippery,” said Wishaya after a training session.

“I’ve never played anyone from this Sri Lankan team before so I don’t know much about them. But I think all of them must be good on clay and that's why they’ve chosen the surface for this tie.”

Sharmal Dissanayake, who was in the Sri Lankan team that lost to Thailand the last time the two nations met in 2016, said his team are hoping to finally get their breakthrough win.

“Thailand are a strong team. We played them two years ago in Thailand and lost 3-2. But we have been preparing well for this tie and we hope we can beat them this time around.”

The Thai team include Wishaya, Jirat Navasirisomboon, Palaphoom Kovapitukted, Sonchat and Sanchai.

Read original story here.

 

 

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