Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Jamaicas four-member Davis Cup team departed the island on Thursday with one objective in mind to get the country back up to the Americas division two.
The four players entrusted with the responsibility of earning the teams promotion back to division two, a category the country last played in 2008, are Brandon Burke, Atton Burrell, Davian Burrell, who is making his first trip to the Davis Cup, and playing captain Dominic Pagon.
Only one goal we have in going over there and that is to make it back up to group two and win as many matches as we can, Pagon, who will be playing in his fifth Davis Cup, reasoned.
The tournament to be staged in La Paz, Bolivia, will commence on Monday, June 17, but the team has jetted off early in an effort to get acclimatised in a city which sits at an altitude of 11,913 feet above sea level.
MORE TIME TO PREPARE
Competition doesnt start until Monday, so Tennis Jamaica has given us more than enough time to be prepared, Pagon shared. I am hearing that it is going to be a little cold over there also, so hopefully we can get adjusted and accustomed to the climate over there.
Jamaica will compete against the likes of Paraguay, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Cuba and host nation Bolivia for the two spots up for grabs.
The teams will be split into two groups, playing in a round-robin format, with the winners of each group playing the runner-up of the other group for promotion to division two in 2014.
The countries will duel with each other over three matches; two singles and one doubles. In order to triumph a country has to win two out of the three matches; either two singles or a singles and a doubles.
Pagon and Brandon will team up for doubles action while the two Burrells will partner each other.
A surprising absentee from the team is the countrys current number-one ranked male player, Damion Johnson. A less than 100 per cent Johnson lost out during last months play-off to dwindle down the squad from six to four players.
It is very unfortunate that Damion (Johnson) cant travel with the team, but these guys been training for years and they wanted a chance, wanted an opportunity and they got it and they took advantage of it, Pagon said.
Jamaica had placed fifth last year, but Pagon believes his team-mates are up for the challenge of securing a top-two finish.
The guys are confident, especially the two guys (Atton and Davian Burrell) who made it through the play-offs, because of the fact that they didnt expect to beat Johnson in the trials, Pagon expressed. They are very confident, because they feel like they are playing their best tennis right now.
Brandon and I have been playing for many years, so we know what to expect and we have been training very hard. I think we have been training harder this year than we did last year, so it is just for us to put it all together.