TENNIS

Phillip King turns attention to Davis Cup after Fed Cup success

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 10:10pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 February, 2014, 11:23am

Having engineered Hong Kong's rise to Group One in the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Zone, Phillip King will have his hands full again in his next assignment - leading the men's Davis Cup campaign against favourites Thailand in Phuket this weekend.

King, who is the number one singles player in the Davis Cup squad, will join the rest of the team in Phuket on Thursday, having delayed his departure because of work commitments. As it is, he had just returned from Astana, Kazakhstan, where last week as captain of the women's Fed Cup team he directed Hong Kong's unbeaten run to win promotion from Group Two.

Hong Kong, comprising number one Lynn Zhang Ling, Tiffany Wu Ho-ching, Eudice Chong and Fed-Cup debutante Ng Kwan-yau, defeated Vietnam (3-0) and Malaysia (3-0) in the preliminary pool competition then knocked out India (2-1) in the play-off before securing promotion to Group One with another well-crafted victory over the Philippines (2-1).

We have proved that Hong Kong tennis has the ability to defeat teams we've never beaten before. We are delighted with our promotion back into Asia/Oceania Group One after six years in Group Two
Phillip King

"The team performed strongly all week, with all three of our singles players - Lynn, Eudice and Tiffany - not dropping a single set in their matches. Lynn in particular was a grounding force in the team, not even dropping a game in her first two matches and Eudice, who is only 17, put in a very impressive performance, winning all four of her matches," King said.

"We have proved that Hong Kong tennis has the ability to defeat teams we've never beaten before. We are delighted with our promotion back into Asia/Oceania Group One after six years in Group Two, especially after getting so close to promotion in the past few years.

"Hong Kong has a young and talented team that can only improve so the future looks bright for 2015 and beyond."

The promotion to Group One is the latest boost to tennis which won back its spot at the Hong Kong Sports Institute as an elite sport. This is expected to take effect from 2015.

King, 32, a former US Open junior champion, will now face a tougher time on court as he leads the Davis Cup squad in the Asia/Oceania Zone Group Two first-round tie, which was moved to Phuket after Hong Kong refused to travel to trouble-hit Bangkok.

"Thailand will be the favourites but we hope we can give them a tough challenge," said Hong Kong's non-playing Davis Cup captain Christopher Lai.

Ognian Kolev is expected to play singles along with King.