Danai Udomchoke, Thailand's top player, will lead the national team in its first-round Davis Cup tie against Kuwait, to be played Feb 1-3.
"We have decided which Thai players will play in the first round of the competition," Gen Teera Kraipanont, secretary-general of the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand (LTAT), announced yesterday.
Gen Teera confirmed that Danai and Kittipong Wachiramanowong will play the singles matches, before Nattanon Kanjapanan and Prachya Issaro pair up in the doubles. Thanakorn Srichaphan will be the coach and Col Kraipetch Warasombut will take on the captaincy duties.
"I think we have a 50-50 chance when we play against Kuwait," Gen Teera said. "We are not worried about this match, although we have some new players. Our doubles players, Nattanon and Prachya, are new players in the Thai team and will need time to prepare themselves.
"In the singles matches, we will depend on Danai and Kittipong, although Danai is not 100 percent ready because he has been training at the Police Academy."
Despite the team including some inexperienced players, Gen Teera drew confidence from Thailand's past record against Kuwait.
"We've played Kuwait twice before and Thailand won both times," Gen Teera said. "I also believe that the players will do their best and our goal is to go step-by-step."
Meanwhile, LTAT president Suwat Liptapanlop said he hoped this year's Thailand Open would attract the world's best players, despite its awkward timing at the end of the year and the relatively small number of rankings points up for grabs.
"The Thailand Open was not very attractive to the superstars," Suwat said. "This is because the ranking points in the Thailand Open are only 250 points and it was arranged toward the end of the year.
"Therefore, some higher-ranking players already have enough points and it is not worth it for them to come and play.
"The other reason is that they don't want to travel so far to Asia. However, I would like to say that we will try to bring the best-known players this year."
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- Writer: Tor Chittinand