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Vietnam could pose a threat next year: Vittaya

Jul 18. 2016
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By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam

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THE captain of Thailand’s Davis Cup team Vittaya Samrej regards Vietnam as a big threat in the 2017 SEA Games despite his side’s 5-0 victory over the visitors in the Davis Cup Zonal Qualifiers tie in Nonthaburi yesterday.
The hosts, who lead 3-0 after the doubles win on Saturday, underlined their superiority over Vietnam by sweeping the remaining rubbers yesterday at the National Tennis Development Centre.

Thai No 1 Pruchya Isarow survived a scare from Minh Tuan Pham before winning 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-4) and Kittipong Wachiramanowong then beat Dac Tien Nguyen 6-0 6-3.

 Vittaya predicted that youthful Vietnam would be strong contenders in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games tennis competition. Thailand have so far won six gold medals in the Games, missing out only in the mixed doubles event. “Vietnam are very well prepared for the Davis Cup.

They were just promoted to Zone Asia/Oceania Group II this year for the first time and upset Indonesia, who are one of the top tennis countries in the region, in the first round,” Vittaya, a former national player, said.

“We will have to keep our eyes closely on Vietnam in the SEA Games. They could be even more dangerous in the future,” the Thai captain said.

Thailand now faces Taiwan – which beat the Philippines 3-1 – in the Group II Davis Cup final round in September. Vittaya said he was optimistic about Thailand’s chances against Taiwan –powerful rivals who have one top 100 player and four in the top 400 – despite the fact we have no player in the top 800.

 “If we start preparing from now on, I believe we can upset Taiwan, who have several good singles players. Playing at home is always an advantage due to familiarisation with the weather and support from home crowd,” he said.

 “As an athlete, you cannot have negative thinking before the match. As long as you are physically strong and well prepared, you can make it happen,” Vittaya said.

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