Vietnam has been promoted to the Asia Pacific Davis Cup Grade 2 next year after beating Hong Kong 2-1 in a decisive Grade 2 round in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sunday.
After three wins over Cambodia, Pacific Oceania and host UAE in Group B, Vietnam is on top of Group B and only needs to beat Group A's second-placed Malaysia to be promoted to Grade 3 while Group B's second-placed Cambodia will fight against Group A's top place Hong Kong.
However, Vietnam lost 2-1 to Malaysia and the chance to be promoted looked very hard when the rivals were the team from Hong Kong, who had beaten Cambodia.
Yet the Vietnamese team did not give up. Learning from the loss to Malaysia when captain Minh Quan had to play a singles game and a doubles game, the coaching staff arranged for Minh Quan to play the doubles game only.
All hopes were pinned on the young talent Nguyen Hoang Thien in the first game against Ognian Kolev, but Thien lost 2-1.
The second game looked extremely hard for Minh Tuan because his rival was the strong Philip King. In fact, King won 6-2 in the first set. Yet he suffered an injury early in the second set and withdrew, leaving the win to Minh Tuan.
Then, in the third game, the duo Minh Quan/ Quoc Khanh did their best and beat Siu Chuen Lam/Le Hei Yin 6-1, 6-3 to help Vietnamese tennis to be promoted to Asia Pacific Grade 2 for the first time in history.
Despite losing to Vietnam, Hong Kong were still promoted to Grade 2 because Hong Kong had earlier beat Malaysia 3-0 in the group stage, and the group stage result was still counted.
Nguyen Quoc Ky, General Secretary of the Vietnam Tennis Federation, said the federation would give the tennis team a cash award of VND200 million (around US$9,500) for the great achievement.