Hong Kong will be given extra time to prepare for this year's Davis Cup campaign after organisers of the tournament decided to put back first-round matches to April. The tournament's preliminary rounds normally get under way in February, but this year they will not start until April, Hong Kong Tennis Association executive officer Janet Hardisty said. Hong Kong play Taiwan in Taipei on April 6-8 in their Asia-Oceania Zone Group Two clash. The winners of that match will then face the winners of the clash between Thailand and the Philippines, which is also scheduled for April. 'I honestly don't know why the dates are a little bit later this year, but it does give the squad more time in training,' Hardisty said. Head coach Ashley Hobson will take Hong Kong's elite players into training soon after the Lunar New Year festivities, Hardisty added. Although the alteration to the Davis Cup schedule will enable Hong Kong to get in some extra practice, Hardisty expressed slight concern over the timing of the second round of matches. 'If we beat Taiwan, we will be playing in Hong Kong in the middle of July when the weather conditions will make it very hard for everybody,' she said. The Davis Cup date change will also prevent many of Hong Kong's best players from competing in the qualifying rounds for the ATP Salem Open at Victoria Park. Qualifiers for the tournament fall on the same weekend in April, although tournament organisers did stress that wild-card places could be made available to Hong Kong players. 'We usually have three or four wild-card places to offer. We won't decide on who they go to until nearer the time of the tournament, but it is possible we could offer a place to a Hong Kong player . . . we have done so before,' said tournament director Lincoln Venancio. 'In previous years Hong Kong have played Davis Cup during qualifying and the players given the wild card have flown back to Hong Kong on the Monday and played in the first round of the Salem,' Venancio added.