Brunei Darussalam national tennis team left for Colombo, Sri Lanka yesterday to take part in the 2022 Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group IV, which will be held from August 8 to 13 at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association Courts.
The participating members of the national team comprises team captain Billy Wong Kee Loong, Mohd Aiman Abdullah, Lim Chun Peng, Gavin Lim and Awangku Ahmad Dasuqi bin Pengiran Haji Sulaiman.
The latest Davis Cup edition will mark a fifth appearance for Wong, who last played in Sri Lanka in 2003, while Gavin Lim looks set to make his second appearance.
Meanwhile, Mohd Aiman, Lim Chun Peng and Awangku Ahmad Dasuqi will be making their debut.
The national team has been allocated in Event ‘A’, which also involved six other nations namely hosts Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq and Yemen.
The Sultanate’s participation will mark their first appearance in the Davis Cup – a tournament specifically reserved for the men’s national teams – since 2008 and their first competition overseas since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wong said, “We will try to either win or get second in the group. We seldom meet our opponents in the region, but usually the standard of the group is quite similar.”
He also said, “We found out that the tournament would be hosted more than two months ago. Before that, we have already been playing specifically for the tournament since we knew the event was happening.”
Prior to the team selection, a playoff tournament was organised in the search of players who would represent the country.
“We hosted a playoff tournament as soon as we knew we had to send players so that we could train as early as possible. The players that have been selected are considered the top five.”
He added, “We selected the top eight players up to the quarters followed by final filtering process.”
In Event ‘A’, the seven teams will be split into two groups of four and three. The group draw will be announced tomorrow.
Each round will see countries playing two singles matches and one double match, and the country who gets to two wins first will be declared the winner.
The top two from each group will then face each other in a playoff, with the winner earning promotion to the Asia/Oceania Group III next year.
Brunei Darussalam Tennis Association (BDTA) President Pengiran Zahiruddin bin Pengiran Zahari, Vice President Pengiran Sufferizal and Secretary General Yusree Yusainey sent the national team off at the Brunei International Airport.
Pengiran Zahiruddin said, “We want to put Brunei tennis on the international sporting map.”