Indians bypass Asian event

HONG KONG'S Davis Cup team will be unable to gauge the strength of their Group Two first-round opponents at this week's Salem Asian Championships with India deciding not to enter the event.

At yesterday's draw for the Victoria Park event, Hong Kong's Davis Cup representative Melvin Tong was given a tough first-round assignment against Filipino Joseph Lizardo.

But there will be no Indians in the tournament after they failed to respond to an invitation sent by the Hong Kong Tennis Association.

Hong Kong face an away match against India in February with the winners going on to a World Group qualifier against Japan or the Philippines.

Top seed in the men's singles competition, South Korea's Asian Games finalist Yoon Yong-il, has a first-round bye and plays the winner of the Tong-Lizardo match in the second round.

Indonesia's second seed, Suwandi Suwandi, also has a first-round bye.

The winner of the men's singles title receives a wild card into the main draw of next year's Salem Hong Kong Open.

The territory are also represented in the men's event by Alex Lui, Jamee Wong and Rudy Chung.

Hong Kong's Willy Chan Lee has been seeded eighth for the women's singles and goes straight into the second round after receiving a first-round bye. She will face compatriot Tong Ka-po or Indonesia's Maria Widyadharma in the second round.

Top-seed Taiwanese Wang Shi-ting, going for her fourth successive title, and China's second seed Li Fang also go directly into the second round.

Wang is expected to meet one of the challengers for her crown, China's Chen Li, in the semi-finals.