China got the better of third seeds Australia on the second day of men’s round-robin ties at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Team Cup Asian Qualification event in Kuala Lumpur.
After losing out to top seeds Sri Lanka in yesterday’s opening Pool One action, China won their first singles rubber of the event thanks to Zhenxu Ji's 6-0, 6-1 success over Australia’s Martyn Dunn at Malaysia's National Tennis Centre.
World number 20 Ben Weekes lived up to his position as the highest-ranked men’s singles player in Kuala Lumpur, but only after coming through a match with some extreme momentum shifts to beat Shunjiang Dong 6-4, 1-6, 6-0 and take Australia into a deciding doubles rubber.
Chao Du and Dong proved to be the superior doubles partnership as their 6-2, 6-1 victory over Dunn and Weekes secured China a 2-1 win overall.
In Pool Two, hosts Malaysia earned a comfortable 3-0 victory over Iraq.
Abu Samah Borhan began with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Ali Adnan Ahmed Alasadi.
Mohamad Yusshazwan Bin Yusuf then gave the home nation an unassailable lead by defeating Hussein Hamid Habal 6-2, 6-1 before joining forces with Borhan to take the doubles rubber 6-0, 6-0.
Tomorrow's men's action will see Australia face Sri Lanka in Pool One and Malaysia meet Thailand in Pool Two.
The first of a possible three ties between Thailand and Malaysia in the women’s event brought a resounding win for the former for the loss of just two games.
World number 44 Wanitha Inthanin and world number 10 Sakhorn Khanthasit dominated proceedings against the hosts.
Inthanin overcame Nur Aqidah Zainuddin 6-0, 6-0, while Khanthasit beat Faizatul Ahya Abdullah Thani 6-0, 6-2.
The Thai duo then won the doubles rubber 6-0, 6-0 and therefore the tie, 3-0.
Malaysia will hope to upset the odds tomorrow and take the women’s best-of-three series into a decider.
If they fail to do so, Thailand will seal qualification for the ITF World Team Cup finals for the 17th time.
The 2019 ITF World Team Cup is due to take place in Israel for the first time this year.
Competition is scheduled to run from May 13 to 18.