Davis Cup Updates: Guam heads to Oman

In this file photo, Daniel Llarenas hits a forehand during a 2014 Delta Guam Futures presented by Docomo Pacific and Hilton Guam Resort & Spa first round match against Neeraj Elangovan (IND). Llarenas leads Guam to its first Davis Cup tie in Muscat, Oman.
Last night, Guam’s five player contingent boarded flights from all over the globe to head to Muscat, Oman, to play in the island’s first Davis Cup competition. With Guam National Tennis Federation president at the helm, Davis Cup captain Torgun Smith led Danny Llarenas, Christopher Cajigan, Jean Pierre “JP” Huynh and Mason Caldwell to their inaugural outing to the Middle East for the high level tennis competition.

“No reason we can’t advance to Group III in our debut.”
– Torgun Smith, Guam Davis Cup captain

Davis Cup, the “World Cup of Tennis,” began in 1900 and has since become the world’s largest annual international team competition in sport, with 132 nations entered for 2018 competition. In Group IV’s Asia/Oceania region, Guam and 11 other countries will compete for promotion to Group III in 2019. Only two of the 12 countries will be promoted.

In addition to Guam, other Group IV countries in Asia/Oceania are Bahrain, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Singapore, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates and host country Oman. Matches will be played at the Sultan Qaboos Sport Complex in Muscat, Oman, from Jan. 29 to Feb. 3.

“On Sunday we have a captains’ meeting, where the draws will be created. There will be six teams in two pools,” said Smith. Competition starts Monday, with most nations scheduled to play in five ties over the course of five days. On Saturday, top teams will play in a sixth tie to determine each pool’s winner. Smith feels Guam will be playing for one of the top two slots. “We’ll hopefully be playing for first or second,” said Smith.

Winners are decided by way of two singles and one doubles match. Whichever nation wins at least two out of three matches is declared the tie’s winner.

While temperature at the tournament site has been a relatively cool 60 degrees Fahrenheit, as of late, Smith expects the heat to rise and may become a factor. “We expect pretty extreme heat, with it being in the Middle East desert and everything.”

“I expect to do well. Danny has a lot of Davis Cup experience, at this level, and he will lead our team,” said Smith. “No reason we can’t advance to Group III in our debut.”

Llarenas is currently an Assistant Coach for the University of the Pacific men’s tennis team, with Cajigan among players listed on the Tigers’ roster. Cajigan also played under Llarenas while attending John F. Kennedy High School. During two years at JFK, he was nearly unrivaled on court, earning the Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam All-Island title both years.

Source: The Guam Daily Post, Matt Weiss(2018, January 27). Guam Davis Cup heads to Oman. https://www.postguam.com/sports/local/guam-davis-cup-heads-to-oman/article_95e42e96-0261-11e8-a02e-43904c43c333.html