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Seven countries battle it out in Davis Cup tourney

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SLTA President Iqbal Bin Issak (third from left) briefing the media regarding the Davis Cup tennis tournament. (From left) Tournament Committee Director Anupa Maththamagoda, Sports Director General Amal Edirisooriya, Sports Ministry Secretary Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva, and Secretary of the SLTA Pradeep Gunasekera.
(Picture by Sudath Malaweera)

Seven countries will take part in the Rakuten Group IV Asia / Oceania Davis Cup tennis tournament which will be worked off from today to August 13 at the SLTA courts at Colombo 7. The opening ceremony will start at 9.30 am today at which Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe will be the Chief Guest. The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and LICC Jeans are the official sponsors of this tournament.

Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) President Iqbal Bin Issak said there will be seven teams participating in this tournament and it is a great privilege to host this type of International tournament during this hard period. Bangladesh, Brunei, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Yemen, and host Sri Lanka will take part in this tournament and we hope the Sri Lankan team led by non-playing captain Udith Wickramasinghe will excel in this event. Three teams Macau, Oman, and Qatar have withdrawn at the last moment and teams divided into two groups will compete in this event which is conducted by the SLTA.

There are 20 teams in Group IV Asia / Oceania category which are divided into two events. Event A will take place here in Sri Lanka while event B will take place in Bahrain from August 17 to 22. Due to the absence of three teams Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, and Bangladesh are in the same Group A while Iraq, Yemen, Maldives, and Brunei are in group B. One of four teams and one of three teams with the nation finishing top of each group to play off for promotion to the Asia / Oceania Group III.

The President of the SLTA further said team Sri Lanka will field two experienced players and three young guns presenting a well-rounded team for this tournament.

The experienced Harshana Godamanna who is based in the USA as a qualified coach with National champion former Anandian Yasitha de Silva are the most experienced players of the host Sri Lanka team while Thehan Wijemanne, Chathurya Nilaweera, and Ashen Silva are the promising players to come up with seniors. Udith Wickramasinghe the non-playing captain, the National coach Renouk Wijemanne, and the Manager Navy Commodore Pradeep Karunatilake are on the team.

Sri Lanka is currently ranked 106 in the world with 54.75 points. In the history of the Davis Cup Sri Lanka has reached the second round of the Asia/ Oceania Zone II on five occasions in 1995 and between 1989- 1992.

Harshana Godamanna stands as the most decorated player for the side having played in the Davis Cup with a career spanning two decades since 2002 while Yasitha Dr. Silva who works for MAS Group is a seasoned Davis Cup player who has been representing Sri Lanka since 2016. Both Thehan Wijemanne and Chathurya Nilaweera are former junior Davis Cup players representing third and second times respectively while Ashen Silva will be making his debut.

The experienced Harshana Godamanna said he came back straight from USA to take part in this event while he used to play this event to give more exposure to the young players. As a qualified USA coach, my experience is very important for local tennis players and looking forward to doing well.

The newly appointed Secretary to the Sports Ministry Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva said SLTA headed by its President Iqbal Bin Issak along with his committee has put in tremendous effort to make this event a success.


Monday, August 8, 2022 – 01:00

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