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Assri takes win at 2013 Davis Cup

Assri Merzuki training at Elite Tennis Development, Bradenton, FL

DUBAI, UAE -- In what has been called one of the Davis Cup Group III highlights of the night, the match between Malaysia's Assri Merzuki (ATP singles ranking 1999) and Iran's Shahin Khaledan (ATP singles ranking 1069) ended with a victory for Malaysia Wednesday night.

After a first singles match loss for Malaysia, attention turned to Assri Merzuki and his performance on the court in the second match.

Assri's first set wasn't showing much promise, with Iran's Shahin Khaledan taking the match with a tough 1-6 loss for Malaysia.

The second set started looking better and hinted of the turnaround to come. Assri was down one set 3-5 and 2 match points. With determination Assri saved the 2 match points and returned with strong play to win the second set in tie-break.

The third set was the battle of the match. After starting down 0-2, it became clear that player fitness was going to be a deciding factor in the competition.

Assri showed a high energy level throughout the gameplay and his fitness level was most apparent at the end of this long match. While Assri's opponent appeared to start cramping at 2-0 in the 3rd set, Assri finished strong and won four games in a row to win the match for Malaysia.

"His victory was very inspiring," Assri's coach Doru Murariu of Elite Tennis Development in Bradenton, Fla., USA, said of his 18 year old player, "Assri was the hero of the evening."

Assri's teammates went on to win the doubles match and brought Malaysia the first victory in Davis Cup Group III competition.

On Thursday Assri and the Malaysian team take on Hong Kong, which has been a strong team so far in Davis Cup competition.

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