Wed | Oct 16, 2019

Azar delighted with Davis Cup success

Published:Sunday | June 23, 2019 | 12:39 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer

John Azar, president of Tennis Jamaica (TJ), said the country’s promotion to Group Two of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Davis Cup competition is a major accomplishment for the development of the sport.

Jamaica will be making a return to Group Two of the Davis Cup competition for the first time since 2008 after they defeated Honduras 2-1 in the final in Group Three on Friday in Costa Rica.

The Jamaicans, who finished the tournament unbeaten, were led by the country’s number-one player, Randy Phillips, along with captain Dominic Pagon, Jacob Bicknell, and Dimitri Bird.

Azar, who took over as TJ president in April, told The Sunday Gleaner that his association is very happy with the success of the team and was now looking to move from strength to strength.

“I am elated and I am very proud of the boys for the efforts that they put up during the weeklong event,” said Azar.

“I think that by all indications, they played strong, they played smart, they were committed. They played as a team, and I think that the results were truly deserving of their efforts,” he said.

“The competition in Group Two will be tougher, but we have been trying to get promotion to Group Two for the past 10 years, and so it is a great feeling to be there now,” Azar said.

The TJ boss underlined that his administration would be giving the players all the necessary support that they are going to require to ensure that they do well in Group Two.

Working Hard

“We certainly are going to work hard to get a squad together from very early and have them training together and have them working hard, and while the competition is going to be tougher in Group Two, we are looking forward to very positive results,” Azar pointed out.

He stated that he is hoping that the country’s success at the tournament will help to attract many more sponsors to the association.

“I think it will certainly give us a big boost because over the past seven weeks, the vibes around tennis have been exceptional,” he said.

“It has been a very unified spirit in the game and sponsors are coming on board. Corporate Jamaica wants to associate their brand with a positive product, and that is what we are getting the sport of tennis back to,” Azar said.