Muscat: Showing great fighting qualities, Oman staged a remarkable comeback against Guam for a 2-0 victory in the play-offs of the 2018 Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group IV competition at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Saturday.
The sensational victory enabled Oman clinch a berth in the Asia/Oceania Group III competition in 2019 along with Singapore, who overcame UAE for a 2-1 victory in another play-off.
As expected Oman faced big challenge against Guam in both the singles rubbers they played on Saturday.
In the first singles, Mohammed Al Nabhani lost to the firs set to Christopher Cajigan. But Oman’s most capped Davis Cup player drew on all his experience to stage a remakable comeback in the second set, saved a match point before taking the rubber into to the third set.
In the deciding third set too, Mohammed came from behind and kept his cool to eventually emerge a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
In the second singles rubber, young Abdullah Al Barwani also lost first set against more experienced Daniel Llarenas but fought bravely to give our team an unassailable 2-0 lead with a 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 win.
Later the teams and the chief referee decided not to play the inconsequential doubles rubber.
A delighted Oman non-playing captain Siddique Al Hashmi said: “Obviously we are all thrilled with this victory, a very deserving one too.”
“It was a remarkable day. We had some tense moments against Guam who had some former players from Pacific Oceania team.”
Al Hashmi was all praise for both Mohammed Al Nabhani and Abdullah Al Barwani.
“Mohammed really played well against Christopher (Cajigan). He saved five match points before winning the rubber.”
“In the second match, Abdullah played against Daniel (Llarenas), who once had a ranking of 300. That’s why he won the first set rather easily.
“But I told Abdullah to play long rallies and tire him out. He did exactly that and I am glad our strategy has worked.”
“Now we will look forward to the Group III competition. We have to prepare well for that.”
In the other play-off, Singapore’s experienced player Roy Hobbs gave a good start for his team by defeating UAE’s Abdulrahman Al Janahi 7-6 (5), 6-1.
But Fahad Janahi kept UAE in the tie with a 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 win against Shaheed Alam in the second singles rubber.
In the doubles rubber too, UAE’s pair of Omar Al Awadhi and Fares Al Janahi fought well but failed to stop Singapore’s Roy Hobbs and Yuan-Xiong Hui from winning 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
In the 5th to 6th play-off, Bahrain defeated Iraq 2-0 with Elyas Abdulnabi defeating Barakat Zainy 6-3, 6-0 and Ali Dawani scoring a 6-2, 6-0 win against Akram Abdalkarem Al Saady. The doubles match was not played as Bahrain has already won the tie.
1st to 4th play-off
Oman def Guam 2-0.
Mohammed Al Nabhani def Christopher Cajigan 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Abdullah Al Bawani def Daniel Llarenas 1-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Singapore def UAE 2-1
Roy Hobbs def Abdulrahman Al Janahi 7-6 (5), 6-1.
Shaheed Alam lost to Fahad Janahi 6-3, 5-7, 5-7.
Roy Hobbs/Yuan-Xiong Hui def Omar Al Awadhi/Fares Al Janahi 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
5th to 6th play-off
Bahrain def Iraq 2-0
Elyas Abdulnabi def Barakat Zainy 6-3, 6-0.
Ali Dawani def Akram Abdalkarem Al Saady 6-2, 6-0.
7th to 8th play-off
Mongolia def Myanmar 2-1.
Ankhbayar Tamir def Oo Zaw San 6-3, 6-0.
Temuugei Enkhsaikhan lost to Aung Myo Thant 6-2 6-2.
Badrakah Munkhbaatar/ Baatar Oyunbat def Aung Kyaw Naing/Tin Myo Wai 7-5, 6-3.
9th to 10th play-off
Turkmenistan def Bangladesh 2-1.
Gurbanberdi Gurbanberdiyev def Mohammad Rana 6-4, 6-4.
Atlymyrat Gurbanov def Ranjan Ram (retired) 5-7, 2-0.
Gurbanberdi Gurbanberdiyev/Yuriy Roguskiy lost to Dipu Lal/Sree-Amol Roy 7-6 (5), 6-2.
11th to 12th play-off
Kyrgyzstan def Tajikistan 3-0.
Kirill Kistanov def Shakhrom Umarov 6-0, 6-0.
Evgeniy Babak def Firdavs Odinaev 6-0, 6-0.
Evgeniy Babak/Kirill Kistanov def Firdavs Odinaev/Shakhrom Umarov 6-0, 6-0.