Team Guam edges Mongolia in Davis Cup

PASSED FIRST HURDLE: From left: Camden Camacho, Joshua Cepeda, Chris Cajigan, Derek Okuhama and Torgun Smith, team captain, are representing Guam at the 2019 Davis Cup in Amman, Jordan. On Wednesday, the Guam Men's National Tennis Team defeated Mongolia 2-1. Photo courtesy of Torgun Smith/Team Guam

The Guam Men’s National Tennis Team, Wednesday, began its 2019 Davis Cup campaign against Mongolia at the Jordan Tennis Federation in Amman, Jordan.

In 2018, Guam’s first-ever foray into Davis Cup competition, the islanders swept Mongolia, 3-0.

With a promotion out of Group IV Asia/Oceania into the region’s Group III the goal, Guam defeated Mongolia, 2-1.

After a scheduled three-day round-robin with 14 teams competing for promotion, the top eight teams will advance to Saturday's playoffs.

In Guam’s first singles match, Camden Camacho defeated Tamir Ankhbayar, 6-4, 7-6(4). In the second rubber, Chris Cajigan lost to Durrenbayer Erdenebayar, 6-2, 6-3. In the final doubles match, Camacho and Derek Okuhama defeated Erdenebayar and Sukhjargal Sukhbaatar, 7-5, 6-3.

“The doubles match was critical,” said Torgun Smith, Team Guam captain. “I was expecting we would go to a tiebreak in the first set because their bigger server was serving at 5-6. They made a couple of unforced errors that put them down love-30, and we were able to get that break. That was the critical point of the match. Winning that first set, the momentum took the boys into the second set, and they immediately went up 3-0.”

With the win, Guam improved its chances to advance to the playoffs. But first, Guam they will hope to get by Turkmenistan and No. 1 seed Jordan.

On Thursday, Guam was scheduled to play Turkmenistan. Today, Guam will play Jordan, who, in 2018, failed to remain in Group III or get promoted.

In 2018, Guam swept Turkmenistan, but that was with Danny Llarenas playing No. 1 singles and a match-tough Cajigan playing at a high level.

Llarenas, due to other obligations, was unable to make the trip and Cajigan has been taking a break from college tennis.

“Even though Turkmenistan is the third seed in our pool, they are stronger than Mongolia,” Smith said. “We have our work cut out for us today, but we’ll go out and give a good fight.”

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