KUALA LUMPUR: The national team will have to spend another year in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group III competition after succumbing to a 2-0 defeat to highly favoured Kuwait in the promotional playoffs in Vietnam yesterday.
An achilles tendon injury suffered by Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak saw Syed Agil Syed Naguib stepping in for the first singles match against Mohammad Ghareeb at the My Dinh Sports Complex. The latter won in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.
Christian Didier Chin then went the distance against Abdullah Maqdes before going down 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 which secured Kuwait the win and with it, promotion to Group II next year.
Malaysia will remain in Group III next season for the third year in a row since being relegated from Group II in 2016.
Despite the loss to Kuwait, team captain Adam Jaya said he could not fault his players’ fighting spirit.
"It was very important for us to have a good tactical line up going into the Kuwait tie," said Adam today.
"Unfortunately Deedat could not play due to his achilles tendon (injury) but Agil and Christian did not disappoint at all and performed really well.
"It was always going to be tough against Kuwait with both Ghareeb and Maqdes who have been ranked in the top 400 of the ATP rankings.
"They can, however, improve on their execution on the big points. They had a few chances today but could not convert.”
Vietnam secured the other promotion slot after downing Qatar 3-0 in their playoff tie.
Malaysia had earlier in the round robin stage defeated Cambodia 3-0 and Pacific Oceania 2-1 before losing to Vietnam 3-0.