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Sri Lanka eye top-three finish at Davis Cup Tourney

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Sri Lanka will be hoping to finish among the top three teams when the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Zone Group-3 Tennis Tournament gets underway at the SLTA Courts in Green Path, Colombo on Wednesday.

The Davis Cup, also known as the World Cup of international Men’s tennis, will be the biggest event to be hosted by the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) this year, with the finals scheduled for July 30.

(From left): Pahirathan Tharmakularaja (Coach), Dinethya Dharmaratne, Inuki Jayaweera, Pradeep Goonesekara (Secretary, SLTA), Iqbal Bin Isaack (President SLTA), Janali Manamperi, Saajida Razick, Vishmi Serasinghe and Dineshi Kaushalya (Manageress)

(From left): Pahirathan Tharmakularaja (Coach), Dinethya Dharmaratne, Inuki Jayaweera, Pradeep Goonesekara (Secretary, SLTA), Iqbal Bin Isaack (President SLTA), Janali Manamperi, Saajida Razick, Vishmi Serasinghe and Dineshi Kaushalya (Manageress)

The matches will be played on the SLTA Clay Courts providing Sri Lanka a handy home advantage for this important tournament. Eight countries will take part in this tournament and will be vying for the top three places, which will secure them a place in the Davis Cup World Group-2 from next year.

A total of eight countries will participate in this tournament as Sri Lanka will join Cambodia, Iran, Malaysia, Jordan, Pacific Oceania, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam for major honours. All teams will play in two round-robin groups and the top two of each group will be promoted to Group-2 while the two teams placed second will play a promotional playoff match.

The top three countries will qualify for the Davis Cup World Group-2 while the last two of the eight participating countries will be relegated to the Asia-Oceania Group-4 next year.

The loser of the two second placed teams playoff and the two teams placed third will remain in Group-3 for next year. For the first time in recent history, Sri Lanka who have qualified from the Conal Group-4 to Group-3 this time, will be fielding a squad of youth and experience.

The two leading campaigners this time in the five-member Sri Lanka team are Thehan Wijemanne and Chathurya Nilaweera, with both players having played together in several international events.

In fact, Wijemanne made his Davis Cup debut in 2020 while Nilaweera made his debut in 2021.

The three other players of the team are Ashen Silva (who was in the team last year) Dhilvan Hearth and Apna Perera. All three are yet to make their Davis Cup debut. Sri Lanka’s non-playing Captain cum Coach is Renouk Wijemanne.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Women’s Team will compete in the Billie Jean King Cup Tennis Tournament, the virtual World Cup of Women’s international tennis, at the National Tennis Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from today.

This is an Asia-Oceania Zone Group-2 Tournament. The most experienced player in the five-member Sri Lanka Team is Janali Manamperi, who has represented the country in four previous tournaments.

The other four members of the team Vishmi Serasinghe, Dinethya Dharmarathne, Saajida Razick and Inuki Jayaweera will be playing in their first Billie Jean Cup Tournament.

The Sri Lanka Women’s Tennis Team will be coached by Pahirathan Tharmakularaja while Dineshi Kaushalya will accompany the team as the Team Manager.

The 12 nations competing in the tournament are Chinese Taipei, Guam, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pacific Oceania, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Turkmenistan.

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