Sri Lanka beaten 3/2 by Thailand in Davis Cup tie
Sri Lanka fought hard but the two seasoned campaigners from Thailand, Sanchai Ratiwatana and Weerapat Doakmaiklee defeated Thangarajah Dineshkanthan and Amresh Jayawickrema in the doubles to seal an early win in the Group Two Asia Oceania Davis Cup tennis first round tie conducted at the SLTA courts over the weekend.
The Sri Lankan pair produced stern resistance before going down 0-6, 4-6, 2-6 in the doubles event on Saturday The contest ended in a 3-2 win for Thailand as the hosts gained two walkovers in the reverse singles on Sunday. Thangarajah Dineshkanthan received a walkover from Weerapat Doakmaiklee as the Thai player complained of a knee injury when Dineshkanthan was leading 6/4. A few minutes later, Vimuktha de Alwis received a walkover from Kittiphong Wachiramanowong. The Thai player did not turn up for the event due to an injury.
According to Sri Lanka’s non-playing captain Rohan de Silva, Dineshkanthan and Jayawickrema, played their first Davis Cup encounter together. They simply lacked the match experience which was the number one requirement at this level of competition. As the game progressed, the local boys gradually saw more and more unforced errors creep into their game before they eventually found themselves being outgunned by the Thais’ superior serving.
Sri Lanka’s early two losses came on a disappointing Friday; when Dineshkanthan, the country’s top-ranked men’s player lost a bitterly-contested battle 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 to the Thai number two Kittiphong Wachiramanowong. Second-ranked Vimuktha de Alwis’ loss to Danai Udomchoke, ranked number one in Thailand, was a more straightforward affair, with the Lankan defeated in straight sets 6-1, 6-1, 6-1. Sri Lanka will be playing against Hong Kong from 6-8 April in Hong Kong.
(By Sajeeka Jayasinghe)