The CNMI’s Robbie Schorr and Ken Song powered Pacific Oceania to a sweep in the elimination round of the 2018 Junior Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Pre-Qualifying Event.
Song and Schorr and Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy shut down Lebanon, 3-0, last Monday at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association’s clay court in Colombo, and then sealed an early win against Bangladesh, 2-0, yesterday to top Group A and advance to the quarterfinal round of the 14-team field.
Schorr handed the Jeff Race-captained Pacific Oceania its first win in the qualifier as the 15-year-old crushed Andre Eleftheriadis in their less than an hour Singles 2 match, 6-0, 6-0. Mainguy then gave theit team the outright win when he also swept Marco Antonio Azar in the Singles 1 tiff, 6-2, 6-3. Pacific Oceania went on to complete its domination of Lebanon as Schorr and Song teamed up in beating Azar and Eleftheriadis in the lone doubles match in the pairing. The two CNMI players took only 55 minutes to finish off the Lebanese duo, 7-5, 6-0.
For their second assignment in the elimination, Schorr again played in Singles 2 and outclassed Bangladesh’s Mohamad Rakib Hossain, 6-4, 6-1, to move Pacific Oceania one win away from ruling Group A.
Pacific Oceania eventual took the top spot in its group when Mainguy pounded Mohammad Juel Rana, 6-2, 6-1, in the Singles 1 duel. Mainguy was also scheduled to play in the doubles with Song, but results of their game against Hossain and Mohammad Emon Islam were unavailable at press time.
With Pacific Oceania placing first in Group C, the team may be paired against either Pakistan or Kuwait in the quarterfinals. Pakistan, pending the final results of its last pool play game against Kuwait yesterday, won its first two games, beating Malaysia and Bhutan in similar scores, 3-0. Kuwait was also 2-0, going into its meeting against Pakistan yesterday, as the former prevailed against Bhutan, 3-0, and Malaysia, 2-1. At press time, Pakistan was ahead of Kuwait, 1-0, after Huzaifa Abdul Rehman clobbered Ali Alshatti in the Singles 2 match, 6-0, 6-0.
Meanwhile, in Group B, Syria and Maldives marched into the playoffs, as they finished 1-2 in their pool. Syria got a 2-0 record after downing Bahrain and Maldives in similar scores, 3-0. Maldives saved a quarterfinal ticket as it earlier outclassed Bahrain in last Monday’s opener, 2-1.
In Group D, Vietnam and Sri Lanka sealed the Top 2 spots and were battling for the No. 1 seed. Vietnam shut down Tajikistan and Saudi Arabia for its first two wins and the former’s game against Sri Lanka was tied, 1-1, at press time last night. The host also blanked Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan to move one win away from sweeping pool play.
The last two teams standing in Sri Lanka will earn slots to the 2018 Junior Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Qualifying Tournament that will be played in Thailand later this month.