Delay to Davis Cup clash in Indonesia could benefit Hong Kong
Davis Cup tie pushed back due to elections in country, meaning Velasco will be eligible
Parliamentary elections in Jakarta have forced this weekend's Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group Two relegation tie against Indonesia to be pushed back to the end of the month - and the delay could be a boost for Hong Kong, who will now be able to call up newly eligible David Velasco into the squad.
"The postponement of the tie due to general elections in Indonesia might end up working in our favour as David has just become eligible to play for Hong Kong. His presence will make us stronger, but I still think that on paper Indonesia hold the upper hand," said Chris Lai, Hong Kong's non-playing Davis Cup captain.
Velasco, a Spanish coach with the Hong Kong Tennis Association, has been a resident for three years. He recently won the Chinese Recreation Club Open, underlining his status as one of the leading players in the city.
"Along with Philip King and Ogi Kolev, we will be able to present a stronger challenge. But none of our players are ranked while Indonesia have a couple of players around the 800-mark, one of them who was as high as 250 a few years ago. They will be hard to beat on their home turf," said Lai.
Hong Kong lost 4-1 to Thailand in the opening round in February and will be desperate to defeat the Indonesians so that they remain in Group Two for another year. Hong Kong won promotion from Group Three last year.
"While we will be able to include David in the team, the delay means playing later in April, which also means the conditions will be hotter and tougher.
"It is going to be a hard challenge," Lai added. The tie will be played in Jakarta from April 25-27.