Dream come true for Sri Lanka Davis Cup debutants | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Dream come true for Sri Lanka Davis Cup debutants

5 September, 2021
Vibuda Wijebandara-Chathurya Nilaweera (Pix by Ranjith Asanka)
Vibuda Wijebandara-Chathurya Nilaweera (Pix by Ranjith Asanka)

It is a dream come true for Sri Lanka’s two Davis Cup debutants, 20-year-old Vibuda Wijebandara and 16-year-old Chathurya Nilaweera.

Both have represented Sri Lanka in the Junior Davis Cup but the upcoming Asia-Oceania Group 3 ties in Jordan will be huge for the duo.

Vibuda has been playing tennis since the age of six, captaining Ananda’s age group teams from under-8 to under-19 leading them to victory in the inter-school championships.

A former top ranked under-16 and under-18 player, Vibuda represented Sri Lanka in 2016 in the Junior Davis Cup ties against Singapore, Syria and Qatar and also the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas in 2017.

A junior national champion (under-16), he has played in ITF tournaments.

“It’s kind of different. Not what I hoped for during the pandemic. It is a big achievement. Yeah, hopefully willing to continue my tennis and enjoy my tennis. Hoping to bring victory to the country,” Vibudu said on being selected to the senior side.

Vibuda who plays an aggressive highly intense game hopes to turn on a bit of magic on and off for Sri Lanka.

“This is a new team, new set of guys. We lack the experience. Hope to get promoted but we just want to stay there,” said Vibuda, a final year Law student.

Although he is the baby of the side, Chathurya has represented Sri Lanka at the 2019 South Asian Games in Nepal and has a couple of titles under his belt.

“It was always a dream as a Sri Lanka tennis player to get into the Davis Cup team. It is the biggest achievement,” said Chathurya who won the under-18 title at the Colombo Championship and won the national doubles crown with Thehan Wijemanne.

“It is my first time in Davis Cup. It will be a good experience. The High Performance program has really helped everyone,” said Chathurya two years and represented Sri Lanka in Junior Davis Cup for three years.

Chathurya feels Sri Lanka have a well-balanced side comprising two left-handers and two right-handers.

“Compared to other countries, most of them have only right handers. When it comes to Davis Cup, it’s all about doubles.

We have a big advantage if doubles is the decider,” said Chathurya who is a student of Stafford International School.