King likely to face Isarow after HK lose doubles in Davis Cup tie in Thailand
Hong Kong's Phillip King is likely to come up against Thai number one Pruchya Isarow as the hosts look to wrap up the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group Two first round tie in Phuket after winning the crucial doubles to take a 2-1 lead.
Isarow was rested for the opening singles but was in action on Saturday in the doubles and played a prominent role as Hong Kong's King and Wevin Wong Chun-hun were blown away 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
Needing to win just one more match to claim the tie and march into the second round, Isarow is likely to play the first reverse singles against King, who won his opening singles game in straight sets over Warit Sornbutnark.
"I think they will change their nominated player and instead bring in Isarow in the first reverse singles," said Hong Kong's non-playing Davis Cup captain Chris Lai. "Isarow played solid tennis in the doubles today, both at the net and baseline, and he is fresher since he did not play on day one."
The same cannot be said of Hong Kong's No 1, King, who is recovering from flu and has had a hectic schedule over the past couple of days, having captained Hong Kong's women last week in their Fed Cup triumphed in Astana, Kazakhstan, where they won promotion to Group One in the Asia/Oceania Zone.
King only joined the rest of the squad on the eve of this tie but despite not practicing due to his illness, he came through with flying colours, winning the first singles match on Friday.
"We hope Phillip can push the match into a fifth and deciding tie. But the Thais seem to have the upper hand as Warit, despite losing, played really well against Phillip," Lai said. "In addition they have the support of the home crowd. Our players are ready and they will do their best."
If King is able to pull it off in the first reverse singles, then it will be down to Ognian Kolev to clinch the decider.
"The doubles was always going to be crucial and it would have given us the edge if we had won it. Unfortunately they were too good for us," Lai added.
If Hong Kong can come from behind and win, they will meet Kuwait in the second round. Lose and it will be a relegation play-off against Indonesia in April.