Sunday, March 01, 2009

Origin Oman & Davis Cup Challenge

Consumer confidence may be at an all-time low and global markets in turmoil, but it seems there is a group of sportsmen that can inspire confidence: Oman’s Davis Cup Tennis Team. Given the squad’s potential and upbeat approach, the Origin Oman Buy Local Campaign felt the time was right to link up with the team, and confirmed today that it will be the headline sponsor at this weekend’s Oman – Pakistan, Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group II tennis tie.

Held at Bausher’s Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex the Davis Cup tie begins at 3:00pm on Friday with the men’s singles. The doubles will be played on Saturday and further matches will be played on Sunday afternoon.

“The Davis Cup is a prestigious and important international tennis tournament. I’m very proud to be representing the sultanate and we’re confident of bringing home a victory. We know the opposition is on good form but we’re very well prepared both mentally and physically. We’re also really buoyed up about playing in front of a home crowd,” says Khalid Al Nabhani, Oman Davis Cup team member.

The Philippines are the top seed in Group II, followed by New Zealand, Kuwait and Pakistan, while Oman, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Malaysia are all unseeded. Last season saw Oman make an excellent impression in the tournament and despite losing to New Zealand at home they later went on to beat Pacific Oceania.

This weekend, Pakistan will be pinning its hopes on Aisam-ul-Haq – the country’s most accomplished international tennis player. A grass court specialist, Aisam led Pakistan to the World Group play-offs in 2005 but since then the national Davis Cup team has struggled to regain its place in Group I. Together with Aqeel Khan - the reigning Pakistani number one - they form a formidable tennis partnership and will test the Omani squad of Khalid Al Nabhani, Mohammed Al Nabhani, Sulaiman Al Rawahi and captain Siddiq Al Hashmi

“The Davis Cup is the biggest and most prestigious team competition in men’s tennis and sees around 130 nations battle it out for top honours. We decided to get behind Khalid, Mohammed, Sulaiman and Siddiq and help them prepare for this weekend’s all important tie. The Origin Oman campaign is all about raising the profile of local goods, services and fare – and we think there’s no better way of doing that than backing Oman’s Davis Cup Team. It’s all about supporting local talent, right?” says Ibtisam Al Faruji, Origin Oman’s Marketing Director.

Al Faruji went on to add that Origin Oman’s sponsorship of this weekend’s Davis Cup tie will hopefully encourage more young people to take up the game and to help them “make an impression on the world stage.”

“Omani Tennis is at a breakthrough stage in its development and it’s a very exciting time for Origin Oman to be involved in the sport,” said Nasser Al Rahbi, Origin Oman’s Media Co-ordinator.

A win at the weekend for Oman would see the sultanate move on to play the winner of the Philippines - Hong Kong tie, scheduled to be held July 10 - 12. In the other half of the draw, Kuwait faces Indonesia while New Zealand plays Malaysia.

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