Taiwan and Malaysia were deadlocked at 1-1 after the first day of their Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group II tie in Kaohsiung yesterday.
Malaysia drew first blood on the hard courts at the Yang-Ming Tennis Center when Mohd Merzuki won a marathon seesaw first singles rubber over Taiwan’s Hung Jui-chen 6-2, 6-7 (6/8), 0-6, 6-1, 6-4 in 2 hours, 52 minutes.
Merzuki saved five of 13 break points and converted 10 of 17, winning 133 of the 256 points contested to give Malaysia a 1-0 lead.
However, Taiwan’s Huang Liang-chi cruised to a 6-0, 6-0, 6-2 victory over Syed Syed Naguib in just 55 minutes in the second singles rubber to tie the score at 1-1.
Huang saved one of the two break points he faced and converted nine of 13, winning 82 of the 112 points contested.
The hosts, who have never lost to Malaysia in three previous Davis Cup meetings, have been unable to call on the services of Taiwanese No. 1 and world No. 94 Lu Yen-hsun due to injury.
In today’s doubles rubber, which is scheduled to begin at 2pm, Huang is due to team up with Yi Chu-huan as they attempt to claim the lead in the three-day first-round tie.
Two of the other three Asia/Oceania Group II matches were also deadlocked at 1-1 after the first day.
The hosts and Vietnam were tied at 1-1 in Surakarta, Indonesea, while in Nonthaburi, Thailand, the hosts were also being held 1-1 by visitors Sri Lanka. In the other match, the Philippines were leading Kuwait 1-0 in Metro Manila after the first singles rubber.
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