Thomas ruled out of Davis Cup team
Bermuda’s Davis Cup team has suffered a setback with the loss of key player David Thomas.
Non-playing team captain and coach Ricky Mallory confirmed that the reigning William Way Memorial champion has been omitted from Bermuda’s four-member squad because of conflicting work commitments.
“Obviously it’s a bit of a blow because right now David is one of our top singles players and is playing some great tennis,” Mallory told
The Royal Gazette. “David is pretty upset about this because he really wanted to go and to be honest this is the best I’ve seen him play and the other players agree.”
Replacing Thomas is Tennessee-based alternate player Naim Azhar who will join up with teammates Gavin Manders, Jenson Bascome and Philip Cooper in Miami on June 13 before the team departs on the final leg of their journey to the Davis Cup in Bolivia the following day.
“Naim is the alternate and I’ve spoken to him and he’s ready to go,” Mallory said. “Naim is a steady player and depending on the situation I will see where he is needed.”
Thomas’ late omission has forced former star player and Davis Cup veteran Mallory to alter his team tactics.
“My plan was to do the bulk of the singles between David and Gavin and have Jenson alternating between those guys if need be,” Mallory said. “But now that David is out of the equation I’m going to have to push Jenson up there playing singles every day. I could’ve alternated Jenson for singles maybe every other day but now he has been forced to play every day.”
As the oldest member on the team, there are concerns over Bascome’s ability to meet the physical demands that have been thrown at him because of Thomas’ omission.
“Jenson is getting a little older now so I don’t know how his body is going to react to playing every day at that high level,” Mallory said. “So depending on the circumstance I might have to push Naim and Alex up there playing a few singles matches.”
Bermuda will come up against Americas Group Three rivals Bahamas, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay and hosts Bolivia during the upcoming round-robin tournament which will see participants divided into two pools.
The eventual top two countries in each pool will play the runners-up from the other pool with the two victorious teams gaining promotion to Americas Group Two for 2014.
The tournament will be held on clay surface at the Club de Tennis in La Paz, Bolivia through from June 17-22, with the draw to be held once the teams arrive in the South American country.