Led by Omar Behroozian (third from right), the UAE earned a promotion to Group III at the end of the Asia/Oceania Zone Group IV encounter held in Amman. The UAE scalped Bahrain 3-0 to remain unbeaten through all five days of the competition.
Image Credit:Hisham Bramly
Dubai: The UAE made yet another re-entry into Group III of the Asia/Oceania Zone with an emphatic 3-0 win against Bahrain at the Al Hussain Sport City in Amman, Jordan on Saturday.
Playing in Group IV for the second successive year, a bulk of the UAE workload was shouldered by the experienced Omar Behroozian, who was making his 21st appearance for his country.
However, credit should go to the young debutant Abdul Rahman Al Janahi as he won both his singles this time.
Al Janahi, who was not even born when Behroozian made his debut way back in 1996, followed up his earlier win against Oman’s Mohammad Al Nabhani with an emphatic 6-0, 6-3 result in just 54 minutes against Bahrain’s Abdul Karim Abdul Nabi to give the UAE an early lead.
Behroozian then put the issue past Bahrain with a hard-fought 6-0, 7-5 win in 55 minutes against Hassan Abdul Nabi in the second singles.
In the doubles, Behroozian teamed up with Abdul Rahman Al Janahi to defeat the Bahraini pairing of Elyas Abdul Nabi and Yousuf Qaed 6-4, 6-3 to maintain their unbeaten record in this competition so far.
The UAE performance was even more commendable as two of their players, Fahad Al Janahi and the experienced Mahmoud Nader, were unable to participate on Friday with a stomach virus and leg injury respectively.
Sara Ahmad Baqer, General Secretary, Tennis Emirates (TE) was elated with the UAE’s performance. “This year’s Davis Cup has been a fantastic experience for younger players like Abdul Rahman and Fahad Al Janahi. I think the key was that we were prepared for the challenge before us,” the General Secretary said.
“This was not an easy assignment as there were two youngsters with a couple of our experienced players [Behroozian and Mahmoud Nader]. The young players were thrown at the deep end and they have responded in such an amazing way.
“This week’s results are an indicator that our youngsters are ready and willing to take on the challenge of leading the country in the future,” she confided.
Having secured their place in Group III for next season, the UAE will now meet hosts Jordan in Sunday’s final to decide the Group IV champion.
In the second semi-final, Jordan had kept off a resurgent Oman before winning 2-1 to set a summit clash against the UAE. In a complete turnaround, Mohammad Al Nabhani fought back from one set down to win 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) against Saif Adas before Mousa Alkotop brought Jordan back on level terms with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Abdullah Al Barwani.
The Jordanian duo of Hamzeh Al Aswad and Alkotop then defeated Al Nabhani and Al Barwani 6-2, 6-2 to secure the win and book their place against the UAE for Sunday’s finale.
Play-off for fifth/sixth: Iraq def. Saudi Arabia 3-0.
Play-off for seventh/eighth: Myanmar x Tajikistan 2-1.
Promotional Play-offs: UAE def. Bahrain 3-0; Jordan def. Oman 2-1.
(Final) UAE x Jordan
(Play-offs for third/fourth) Bahrain x Oman