Sri Lanka and Thailand made winning starts to their campaigns in the men's competition as action began today at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Team Cup Asian qualification event in Kuala Lumpur.
Top seeds Sri Lanka took an unassailable 2-0 lead against China in Pool One's opening round-robin tie at Malaysia's National Tennis Centre.
But that hardly conveys the drama in the opening singles rubber as world number 69 Gamini Dissanayake had to recover from a set down against world number 444 Chao Du before prevailing 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a match lasting three hours.
World number three Suresh Dharmasena then put the tie out of the reach of China, last year's runners-up in the event, with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Shunjiang Dong.
The overall score became 2-1 when Dong and Zhenxu Ji beat Dharmasena and Suresh Ranaweera 7-5, 6-3 in the dead doubles rubber.
By comparison, second seeds Thailand had a relatively comfortable 3-0 victory over Iraq in Pool Two's first round-robin tie.
World number 78 Banjob Suwan set them on their way to success with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Hussein Khaleel Baroor.
Two-time Paralympian Suthi Khlongrua then made it 2-0 in favour of Thailand by defeating Hussein Hamid Habal 6-3, 6-0.
The rout was complete when Khlongrua partnered Wittaya Peem-Mee to overcome Baroor and Habal 6-2, 6-3 in the doubles rubber.
Tomorrow's men's action will see Australia face China in Pool One and Iraq meet hosts Malaysia in Pool Two.
Malaysia and Thailand will play each other in the first tie of the best-of three series in the women's event.
The winners of the men’s and women’s competitions will earn qualification for the 2019 ITF World Team Cup, scheduled to take place in Israel for the first time this year from May 13 to 18.