Thu, 13 Oct 1994

S. Korea to host RI in Davis qualifier

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia faces a daunting Davis Cup challenge, next year when it flies to South Korea for their Asia Oceania Zone One rematch of the men's tennis championship.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Tuesday, while holding the draw, the Indonesia-South Korea duel will be played simultaneously with the other zonal qualifying round matches, pitting 14 teams from Asia Oceania, Caribbean and South America on Feb. 3-5, 1995.

It will be Indonesia's sixth encounter with their arch rivals, South Korea, since 1982, with both sides winning their home Davis Cup tie but conceding away losses. Indonesia now leads 3-2 after a Benny Wijaya-led squad outlasted the South Koreans last July for a berth in the World Group qualifying round.

Benny and company's dreams of joining the world tennis elite, ended at the hands of Switzerland last month. Spearheaded by Olympic gold medalist Marc Rosset, the visiting Swiss players swept Indonesia 4-1.

Indonesia entered the group, consisting of the world's 16 tennis playing countries, twice, in 1982 and 1988, only to crash to Sweden and Germany respectively.

Switzerland will travel to the Netherlands, next year, for its World Group first round matches against the Netherlands.

Tuesday's draw also put top seeds the United States and Germany, unexpectedly beaten in this year's Davis Cup semifinals, in tough first round matches, Reuter reported.

The U.S. was handed a re-match of one of the most sensational finals in recent history against France, which beat an Andre Agassi-led squad 3-1 amid memorable scenes in Lyon in 1991.

The good news for the Americans, still smarting from their semifinal downfall in Sweden last month, is that they have home advantage this time, as do Germany against world group newcomer Croatia.

In contrast, this year's finalists Russia and Sweden will both be forced to travel for their first-round matches to be played between Feb. 3-5.

Russia which hosts this year's final at Moscow's Olympic Stadium in December, must play in Belgium while the Swedes face an all-Scandinavian battle in Denmark. (amd)