Since it first took part in the competition in 1984, Singapore has seen its influence in the Davis Cup wax and wane. From reaching the semi-finals in group 2 in 1988 to being demoted to group 4 in 2016, the island nation’s journey in the world’s premier international team event in men’s tennis has been an inconsistent one.
Team Singapore tennis players (L-R) Shaheed Alam, Steve Ng, Jensen Hiu and Roy Hobbs. Photo: Sport Singapore
But promotion last year after just missing out in 2017 may be the momentum our local lads need to achieve the lofty heights of 1988 once again. With the team unchanged and the 2019 Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group III regional competition being held in Singapore, this may be the best chance for the quartet of Jensen Hiu, Shaheed Alam, Roy Hobbs and Steve Ng to capitalise on home advantage and gain promotion to group 2.
Although only 23, Steve Ng can be considered a veteran of the Davis Cup having first played in the Singapore team when he was 17. He hails the team spirit and camaraderie for their good run of form.
“It’s a great chemistry (that the team has). Jensen is like our big brother, taking care of us. It’s a team event and it was a good team spirit that we had and that’s why we did really well,” said Ng who won his career first ITF doubles title at the M15 Singapore ITF Tournament over the weekend.
Ranked 100 in the world, Singapore will have to face higher ranked teams from Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Syria and Vietnam in the competition which runs from the 26th to the 28th of June at the OCBC Arena. But will home court advantage also add to the pressure to perform?
Team Singapore tennis player Steve Ng in action. Photo: Cheah Cheng Poh/ SportSG
“Definitely there is pressure but I feel home court advantage will be good for us. I feel that it’ll more exciting to play here,” said Ng.
Ng considers their regional rivals Malaysia and Vietnam as the teams to look out for. “Vietnam has a really good singles player and it may be pretty tough to outlast. Malaysia also has a really good doubles team with good doubles tactics, it might be a little bit tricky to play them.”
“Definitely we want to promote back to group 2 it is the big goal for us it won’t be easy and it’s going to be really close. And if we can’t promote, we aim to maintain in group 3,” he continued.
Come show your support for our Team Singapore Davis Cup team from 26 to 29 June at the OCBC Arena.
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