Guam – Guam’s Daniel Llarenas has been selected to join Pacific Oceania’s Davis Cup team for a third consecutive time, this time for the BNP Paribas Group II Asia/Oceania Zone relegation playoff against Lebanon in the Middle Eastern country April 6 to 8.
Traveling with Llarenas are Vanuatu’s Cyril Jacobe and Aymeric Mara and Davis Cup veteran Juan-Sebastien Langton of Samoa. Vanuatu’s Cyrille Mainguy has been selected as team captain, and for the second straight tie, Guam’s Torgun Smith has been appointed as team manager.
The Pacific Oceania team will play for the first time since 2002 on clay courts. Matches will be contested at the ATCL Club in Jounieh, Lebanon, roughly 10 miles north of Beirut, the country’s capital city. Winners of the relegation playoff remain in Group II for 2013, while the losers will be knocked down to Group III play.
Pacific Oceania last played in Group III in 2009, before the team was promoted to Group II for 2010. Since then, Pacific Oceania has evaded relegation twice. In 2010, Pacific Oceania sent Malaysia to Group III in that year’s relegation playoff and in 2011, knocked down Iran at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa tennis courts. Llarenas was part of the 2011 team that had its best showing in Group II play.
Pacific Oceania lost 0-5 to the top-ranked Philippines team last month and Lebanon lost 2-3 to Pakistan to set up the playoff meeting.
In head-to-head play, Pacific Oceania, ranked No. 66 in the world, has a 3-0 advantage over Lebanon, ranked No. 75 in the world, the Davis Cup Web site states. Pacific Oceania last played Lebanon in 2009 in Group III round robin play. Pacific Oceania defeated Lebanon 2-1. Pacific Oceania has only played Lebanon once before in Group II. In 2005, Pacific Oceania won 3-2 in the first round. Langton returns from both winning Pacific Oceania teams in 2009 and 2005 that faced Lebanon. Jacobe, who was named to the squad both years, played only in the 2009 meeting. Jacobe garnered the silver medal in singles, doubles and team events at the 2011 Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia.