By Tom Degun

MyanmarDecember 7 - The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that the Tennis Federation of Myanmar (TFM) will host the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group III and IV events.

Myanmar is perhaps better known as Burma and it is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia.

The two tennis events will be held in consecutive weeks between April 22 and May 5 next year at the Thein Byu Tennis Stadium which serves as the national tennis centre in Yangon.

The fact that the events are being staged back-to-back at the same venue means that there will be a two-week tennis festival at the ten-court facility, with a total of 19 nations set to take part.

The first week will see the eight nations of Cambodia, Hong Kong, China, Iran, Malaysia, Oman, Pacific Oceania, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam compete in the Asia/Oceania Zone Group III.

The following week sees the 11 nations of Bahrain, Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkmenistan and Yemen battle for the Asia/Oceania Zone IV title.

"The Davis Cup is a very prestigious event and for the nation of Myanmar we are extremely proud of this honour to be host nation," said the President of the Tennis Federation of Myanmar, U Aung Maw Thein.

"Myanmar tennis just took a giant step forward because this will be a catalyst for developing the tennis at all levels throughout the country.

"New courts have to be built, teachers and referees educated and our players trained.

"The Tennis Federation of Myanmar is most grateful to the ITF for giving us this responsibility."

The staging of Davis Cup is part of a series of projects undertaken by the Tennis Federation of Myanmar to build a strong base of new tennis teachers and players.

The Tennis Federation of Myanmar took the first step towards widespread improvements at the end of 2011 when it hired Robert Davis as head coach and technical expert.

The federation is now focusing on coach education, talent identification and development, officiating and attracting international tournaments to Myanmar.

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