In 2015 The Pacific Oceania Team travelled to Bahrain and were promoted from Group IV to Group III. The following is a summary of the Tie by captain Gilles de Gouy
“The Pacific Oceania Davis Cup Programme started in June 2014 when outgoing Captain Cyrille Mainguy won the team another opportunity to try to be promoted back into Group lll. With a very clear objective in mind I took the opportunity offered to have the team train together at the Australian Open in January 2015. Training and playing several rounds of Asia/Pacific Tennis League Matches, the team each left Australia with clear personal objectives and training programmes.
Arriving at the Kingdom of Bahrain, an Islamic Island housing just one million citizens in its tiny 760 square metre circumference and Host Nation for the 2015 Davis Cup Group IV Challenge, I observed that the remains of a dust storm had left Bahrain shrouded in fine clay like sand particles. The floating sand in the air, not only had the effect of cutting the 38° heat down, but it also changed the density of the air so that it felt like tennis is being played at altitude. This was an unexpected condition when The sea surrounds the area and this factor needed to be taken into account for match play, along with the physical condition of the team due to their very late arrival into Bahrain.
The team was:
Brett Baudinet (CI); Cyril Jacobe (VAN); Daniel Llarenas (GUM); Heve Kelley (PYF) and captain Gilles de Gouy
Jetlagged after 25 hours travelling and arriving just one day prior to play, the Pacific Oceania team was the last to arrive in Bahrain. They also had the most distance to travel and were challenged both geographically and climatically both in terms of weather and conditions of play, and the lack of ability to train together prior to the event. Fortunately half of the team the team, Heve Kelley and Brett Baudinet, were able to meet together in NZ under my guidance and hospitality. They trained together for the week immediately prior to the Davis Cup at the naval base courts in Devonport, Auckland. Upon attending the Captains’ Meeting Captain I was very pleased to see the team allocated a favourable draw with the schedule of play allowing the team to ease their jetlagged bodies into match play by playing lesser ranked teams at the start of the week and more challenging opponents further into the draw.
Starting on Monday 27th April, the team faced Iraq in their opening Tie. First up was Vanuatu’s Cyril Jacobe, a veteran DC player who made a great start in his singles against Akram Al-Saady but then was plagued by self doubts and subsequently held back his required aggressiveness losing 5-7, 2-6. The aftermath of Cyclone Pam which ripped through his homeland two months earlier had left Cyril without courts to play on or players to train with and rebuilding his confidence was going to be a major factor in getting Cyril to more successful match play for the rest of the Tie.
With the pressure of winning his first DC match ever, debutante Heve Kelley from Tahiti stepped into the court with a fantastic attitude positively oozing confidence and determination, ready to take on Iran’s number one Al Kahari Al Mayahi. Using his two gun weapons (his serve and his forehand) Heve also played aggressively when returning his opponents serve and steamrolled over his opponent taking the first set 6-2 and carrying on to win the match 6-2, 6-2.
It was a great set up for the seasoned doubles partnership of Brett Baudinet of the Cook Islands and Daniel Llarenas of Guam to follow and they stepped in the court to comfortably lead the first set, drop the second and fought hard to hang onto the third, with the result being the day’s third win to team PO 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Most definitely the Pacific Island Spirit and support contributed to the first day’s wins and made the difference that mattered in all three matches throughout their 6 ½ hours of play today.
Following this great start to the Tie, on Tuesday 28th April team Pacific oceania took on home team Bahrain in what was a decisive day’s play for them against a very well supported team. This was a huge day’s play, a tough day with some great wins despite the heat being back and bringing high humidity along with it.
First up was Cyril Jacobe vs. Bahrain’s Abdulkarim (Abdul) Abdulnabi. This player demonstrated great consistency from both sides of the baseline with both his forehand and backhand strokes, and it was enough to raise uncertainty in Cyril’s mind regarding his own tennis game, this made it difficult for him to take the advantage in the score. Eventually Cyril reacted to his self generated doubt and made even more of a change to both his mental approach as well as his tactical and strategic approach, what followed was a total battle between these two players, with very close and long games with long rallies, with jubilation from the Pacific Oceania Team for their teammates tenacity and stamina during this 2 ½ hour match to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Next on court was Heve Kelley, pitched against the home team’s number one Yusuf Qaed. This player was definitely at the level expected of him, and right from the start a pitched battle was held on court. Yusuf, wanting to take Heve out from the beginning, attacked strongly, Heve however was not overwhelmed by this approach or the level of the game and both players held their serves until a nail biting tiebreak in the first set with Heve have his cunning opponent bluff and play extraordinarily risky shots and eventually won the set after 1 hour 20 minutes of play.
Heve continued on with his lightness of both mind and foot. Being physically much fresher than his opponent and not ready to give up he brought a heightened intensity into an already very intense match. Taking the second set with confident efficiency Heve carried on with determination and consistency to fight his way through an exceptional resurgence from his opponent, eventually conquering to take the match 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2 subsequently bringing home the second win and point for Pacific Oceania for the day. This was another great victory which was further capitalized on when our doubles team won the 3rd rubber.
With no pressure on them to win but determined to do so and at the same time to improve their game, our doubles combo were both given specific challenges to focus on during their match against the two best players from Bahrain, Yusuf Qaed and Hasan Abdulnabi. Over the course of the game both these players more than met their challenges and a really good quality doubles game followed also evidenced by great teamwork. The first set’s apparent easy score was actually very well earned with a great quality doubles game by this dynamic Pacific Oceania Duo. The second set with a mix of good tennis, good luck and great tenacity had the opponents taking several key games and forcing a tiebreak. Daniel, with his good hands and consistent serving, and Brett with his big serve and some excellent play including a brilliant half short cross backhand drop shot, came away with the game in their pocket at 6-1, 6-2.
Well done guys! , great work guys! The whole team came out on the court to enjoy this latest team victory and the immensely successful conclusion to a long day of tight tennis, 7 ½ hours of pure battle with the Pacific-Oceania team taking home three points and getting ourselves one step closer to the goal of being in the final on Saturday and our ultimate goal of being promoted to the Davis Cup Group III.
Day three and a rest day; it’s 41 degrees and getting hotter by the minute, what a great time to be on court training! With a well appreciated sleep in and an easy start to the day our Pacific-Oceania team were well ready to have a training session with me to work on their individual areas of improvement as previously identified. Several training stations were set up, associating vertical squats for developing more explosive vertical propulsion for serving, elastic bands for training the service motion and to strengthen the shoulder for serving; and skipping ropes for training lightness of foot, followed by the service station and the receiving station. It was a great training session with much achieved. The teams’ enthusiasm to improve and play even better day by day provided a great foundation for the solid progress made today. The team are certainly focused on what they have come here to achieve.
Match play the following day Thursday 30th April provided another great day of tennis for the Pacific Oceania Team with tough singles followed then by a steamrolling doubles against Jordan. Cyril came on the court with the right attitude from the start and playing aggressively against Mousa Alkotop, a very promising junior from Jordan who didn’t make any mistakes. Cyril was playing but not getting through, so a strategy session with the coach later and the decision was made to take every opportunity during the rally, the rubber underwent a major transformation at this point and this match was a successful accumulation of the long labour of mental work that Cyril has undertaken in this Tie. Cyril is putting himself back in the drivers’ seat and playing his game on the court. Result 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Next up, Men’s Singles 1, Heve Kelly steps in the court against Seif Adas in a great mental condition, and champing for a win. What a match! Two baseline players hitting consistently the ball with a lot of power, and averaging 6-8 rallies per point. It was like a game of table of table tennis with its speed and power. Fantastic viewing and excellent tennis.
Both players held their serves until the first set’s tiebreak, each game consistently containing a series of killer shots, as well as great defence and counterattack coming from both. However during the first set tiebreak Heve unfortunately didn’t notice that the conditions had changed, and with the wind at his back he made three mistakes with the balls being just a few centimetres long. This was enough of an advantage for his opponent to jump on and utilise, and Heve lost the first set tiebreak 7-4. Subsequently an amazing second set ensued where, after such a tight first set, the second set was like watching a different game, and the set score of 6-0 tells it all.
This set up the make or break 3rd set where his opponent reacted vigorously to this trouncing and with two crucial points at 3-1, non converted by Heve in this fifth game of the third set, his opponent acted like he had been resurrected. Heve had to battle to hold his serve game, followed by another extra long game, won by Seif, which depleted the last of Heve’s energies and an eventual loss of the game with the score of 6-7(4), 6-0, 4-6. It was little consolation that spectators all agreed that this game had been the best singles match of the week so far in this Davis Cup event.
Then we progressed on to deciding doubles pairing of Brett and Daniel against Jordan’s Mousa Alkotop and Tareq Talal Shkakwa who maintained some belief about their possibility to win the rubber for two games at best, and from that point on however, it was game over. Our doubles pairing simply hammered their opponents into total submission. Brett and Daniel won the first set 6-1 in just a few minutes time and took the second set 6-2 easily, there was no moment that we could even consider it remotely possible for the Jordanian doubles pair to have the opportunity of successfully taking over the game. With no disrespect to these players, they never stood a chance.
So, we are in the final for certain and a day off tomorrow for rest and regenerating energies. A late afternoon training session was focused on individual areas of improvement, technical shots and, most importantly, was designed to work on the areas we need to target in the finals matches.
I have to start with the result… we won ! Winning both the Tie and Promotion to Group llI ! Goal accomplished ecstatic team and Captain, well done PO!
Cyril, won this match and on the basis of first of all having won the mental fight with himself earlier in the week. Result: match delivered with the score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Heve’s match was a good experience against a better player. Losing 0-6, 4-6 should encourage him to work even harder to elevate his level. What a full week for him and a great first Davis Cup Event. Brett and Daniel, one more time delivering a solid doubles performance to win 7-6(6), 7-5. This match shows a tight score we never felt in danger; these two players are a very reliable doubles pairing for this competition. Their undefeated wins tally of 9 wins playing doubles together in a row shows it all. A 100% success record in their last 2 years of Davis Cup Tie’s.
To the team – thank you for trusting me and being willing to work with me for this most crucial Tie. I am proud to have been a part of your and our success. I am really looking forward to next year’s challenge. The fact we can’t train often together throughout the year is turned in to strength in spirit as we truly support one another on the court. Long live the Pacific Spirit.
To the supporters, your engagement with us both when we are near and when we are far is energizing and appreciated. You are a part of this win.
To Oceania Tennis Federation, thank you for giving us this opportunity to represent Pacific-Oceania, and to fight to take our place amongst the next level of World Tennis. We’re very glad to be here and eagerly anticipate our opportunity to represent Pacific Oceania gloriously again next year. Please maximize our chances to do so by giving us enough time to arrive, recover and train for next year’s Davis Cup event, it’s going to be even more important for us to be in the best conditions then. The pre DC training that two of the team were able to participate in the year for the week before the DC was really helpful, if this can be replicated, and for all the team, it will stand us in good stead. Bring on 2016, let’s go PO let’s go!!”
The Pacific Oceania Davis Cup team were pipped at the final hurdle in their goal to be promoted from Group IV to Group III in their Davis Cup Tie on the red clay at the Enghelab Sports Complex in Teheran, Iran in June 2014. This was to be the last Tie for captain, Cyrille Mainguy. The OTF records its deepest thanks for the outstanding service that has given as captain of the Pacific Oceania Davis Cup Team over the last 6 years. Regrettably his swansong was not a winning one with the team beaten by a better team on the day, Qatar by 2-1 with the only rubber won being the doubles won by Gilles de Gouy and Daniel Llarenas winning 6-3.7-5 to continue their unbeaten form throughout the event.
Pacific Oceania, which draws its players from the 17 Oceania associate member nations of ITF, were drawn as the top seed in Pool A with a team comprising Cyrille Mainguy (VAN-captain); Juan Langton (SAM); Gilles de Gouy (PYF); Aymeric Mara (VAN) and Daniel Llarenas (GUM) with the top team in each of the 2 pools promoted to Group III in 2015. Also in Pool A were the teams from Jordan, Bangladesh, Iraq and Kyrgyzstan. In Pool B were Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Mongolia.
The team was: Gilles de Gouy, Juan Langton, Aymeric Mara, Daniel Llarenasn and Cyrille Mainguy (captain)
The Pacific Oceania Davis Cup Team played the following 4 Matches in the initial round robin, winning all 4 matches and as a result went forward to the play-offs for promotion to Group III.
Pacific Oceania beat Kyrgyzstan 3-0
Aymeric Mara beat Adilbek Mamatov 62,61
Juan Langton beat Maksim Serko 61,64
Gilles de Gouy/Daniel Llarenas beat Abai Kanybek Uulu/Maksim Serko 61,61
Pacific Oceania beat Bangladesh 2-1
Henry Mondol beat Aymeric Mara beat 64,46,62
Juan Langton beat Sree Roy 36,76(5),63
Gilles de Gouy/Daniel Llarenas beat Ranjan Ram/Sree Roy 76(5),60
Pacific Oceania beat Jordan 3-0
Aymeric Mara beat Musa Alkotop 46,64,63Adilbek Mamatov 62,61
Juan Langton beat Hamzeh Al-Aswad 62,76(5)Maksim Serko 61,64
Gilles de Gouy/Daniel Llarenas beat Hamzeh Al-Aswad/Tareq Talal Shkakwa 46,76(8)60
Pacific Oceania beat Iraq 2-1
Aymeric Mara beat Barakat Zainy 63,36,62
Ali Al-Mayahi beat Juan Langton 62,61
Gilles de Gouy/Daniel Llarenas beat Ali Al-Mayahi/Akram Al-Saady 63,76(8).
Pacific Oceania advanced to the Play Offs unbeaten.
Qatar beat Pacific Oceania 2-1
Ali Mutawa beat Aymeric Mara beat 63,63
Al Harrasi beat Juan Langton 61,62
Gilles de Gouy/Daniel Llarenas beat Ali Al-Saygh/Mousa Zayed 63,75
The ITF has just announced that the Asia/Oceania Davis Cup Group III Tie involving the Pacific Oceania Team, that was cancelled from Myanmar in early May will now be played in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
This Round Robin Tie involving Cambodia, Hong Kong China, Iran, Malaysia, Oman, UAE, Vietnam and Pacific Oceania will be played in the week commencing 9 September at the Aviation Tennis Club which is host to the ATP 500 Tournament with prize money of US$2M in late February every year.
Davis Cup 2013
Pacific Oceania will this year compete in Davis Cup in the Asia/Oceania Zone Group III in Yangon, Myanmar from 29 April-5 May.
The team to be captained by Cyrille Mainguy (VAN) is:
- Cyril Jacobe (VAN)
- Colin Sinclair (CNMI)
- Gilles De Gouy (TAH)
- Daniel Llarenas (GUM)
The event is a round Robin with 8 teams from Cambodia, Hong Kong, Iran, Malaysia, Oman, UAE, Vietnam and Pacific Oceania competing.
The teams will be drawn into 2 pools of 4 teams. These matches will be played from Wednesday 1 May-Friday 3 May. The top 2 teams in each pool will then play in a new “promotion” round robin pool on the Saturday and Sunday (counting any previous results against nations in that pool). The 2 highest placed nations in this pool will be promoted to Group II in 2014.
Similarly the bottom 2 teams in each pool will play in a “relegation” round robin on the Saturday and Sunday (counting any previous results against nations in that pool). The 2 last nations in this pool will be relegated to Group IV in 2014.
History: The best Pacific Oceania Davis Cup performance came in 2005, when it reached the Asia/Oceania Zone, Group II, 2nd Round.
First year played 1995
Ties Played 65(32-33)
Most Total Wins Lency Tenai (27-21)
Most Singles Wins Michael Leong (19-12)
Most Doubles Wins Brett Baudinet (17-10)
Best Doubles Team Brett Baudinet/Juan Langton (10-6)
Most Ties Played Brett Baudinet (33)
Most Years Played Brett Baudinet (10); Juan Langton (10)
|Total W/L||Singles W/L||Doubles W/L||Ties Played||First Year||Years Played|