Sri Lanka finalise team for Davis Cup tie
TENNIS: The three Sri Lankan players currently undergoing
training in Bangkok, Thailand for the Davis Cup (Asia/Oceania Zone Group
III) contest to be staged in Tehran, Iran from April 7 to 13 are
scheduled to arrive in the country on Saturday (March 29) for further
training before leaving for Tehran on April 4. Sri Lanka side is
sponsored by EPSI Computers.
"The three players include Rajiv Rajapakse, Dinusha Wijesuriya and
Hewakottage who are in Bangkok under the watchful eyes of their Swiss
coach Dominic Utzingor.
Rajapakse and Wijesuriya left for Bangkok earlier this month to join
Sri Lanka's only professional player, Harshana Godamanna said the Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA),
Colonel Chris de Silva (Rtd).
De Silva further told the Sunday Observer that Hewakottage who found
himself in the side after Sports Minister, Gamini Lokuge, intervened on
the players' behalf left for Bangkok about a week back. He replaced
Guyanga Weerasekera in the national side.
Weerasekera won both the singles and doubles at the Junior (under-18)
International Championship of the International Tennis Federation (ITF)
held at the SSC courts a few weeks back, though Hewakottage lost in the
first-round of the singles.
Godamanna is Sri Lanka's best player based in Bangkok and is
presently playing in three "back to back" ITF Futures Tournaments in
India. He is expected in Colombo to join the other three players soon
after he completes his events in India for further training before
leaving for Tehran.
Harshana Godamanna will be Sri Lanka's No. 1 singles player, while
the other slot will be taken by Dinusha Wijesuriya. The doubles pair
will be Godamanna and the experienced Rajiv Rajapakse.
A Vice-President of the SLTA, Vasantha Wijesekera, is the manager,
while Rohan de Silva, a former seasoned Davis Cup campaigner and
national champion, is the non-playing captain.
The eight sides vying to get promotion into Group II are Sri Lanka,
Iran Malaysia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Vietnam