Sri Lanka had a horrific start to their 2019 campaign at the Davis Cup Tennis Championship after a beating at the hands of Vietnam yesterday, 26th June, at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
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A team well balanced with experience and fresh talent, Sri Lanka will face tough competition this year at the tournament. Relegated from Group II in 2018, Sri Lanka will look at digging their way out from Group III, as they’ve done so in the past.
With this year being Harshana Godamanna’s last appearance in the singles format at the Davis Cup, Sri Lanka will hope to give it their all in a bid to progress.
Sri Lanka is grouped into Pool A alongside Vietnam, Singapore and Kuwait.
The Lions took on Vietnam in their opening fixture. Sri Lanka led the Head to Head Tally at 5 – 3 up until this year. Unlike the tie format in Group II where 3 singles and 2 doubles were played in a best of 5 match format, Group III sees 2 singles and 1 doubles match in a best of 3 format.
Starting the day off was Dineshkanthan Thangarajah taking on Linh Giang Trinh of Vietnam. Trinh has 6 Davis Cup appearances prior to this year and has a perfect track record of 6 Singles wins.
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Sure enough, Trinh didn’t let Thangarajah tarnish his slate and won the first singles rubber in straight sets. Dominating with the serve, Trinh finished off the match in straight sets 6/2, 6/3, making things difficult for the Lions.
Next was Harshana Godamanna taking on Nam Hoang Ly in search of a desperate turn around. Despite having a slight edge on points won, Godamanna went down to the more superior Hoang Ly in a grueling three setter.
Godamanna was able to grab the opening set of the match 6 games to 3 but Ly came back to win the match and tie for Vietnam with scores of 3/6, 6/4, 7/6 (2).
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The customary Doubles was manned by Davis Cup debutant Savit Weerasinghe and Dineshkanthan Thangarajah to save Lanka from suffering a whitewash. For Vietnam, it was Quoc-Khanh Le and Minh Tuan Pham who made sure to complete that whitewash.
In two simple sets, 6/1, 6/2, the Vietnamese pair finished unbeaten, going up the Group’s table after the opening day.
Sri Lanka will face Kuwait, later today, 27th June in the second Group stage fixture. Keep it logged on to ThePapare.com to find out the latest results and updates from the tournament.