Huey saves day for Davis Cuppers
Treat Huey outclassed Elbert Sie, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, but Francis Casey Alcantara dropped a 6-7 (3-7), 2-6, 6-3, 0-6 decision to the formidable Christopher Rungkat as the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup team split the opening singles with Indonesia, 1-1, Friday in Jakarta.
The 27-year-old Huey, playing as the Philippines’ No. 1, gave up just one service game in hacking out the win that avenged Alcantara’s defeat to the top Indonesian player.
Sie, the scrappy 25-year-old winner of two gold medals in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games, broke back in the fourth game of the third set for 2-2. But Huey responded with several aces and winners to ease the pressure at the Gelora Bung Karno tennis stadium.
“Treat’s serves are almost perfect,” said non-playing captain Roland Kraut. “If he serves this way in doubles, then we have an advantage.”
Kraut’s statement means he would field a new combination for Saturday’s doubles to improve the country’s chances in the tie.
He could opt to play Huey and Alcantara— the better doubles players being the world No. 39 and former Australian Open junior doubles champ, respectively—instead of Jeson Patrombon and Ruben Gonzales as earlier listed.
Alcantara’s defeat left the Filipinos fuming over what they perceived as bad line calls.
“Alcantara played well considering this is his very first bearing Davis Cup game,” said team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier. “He made Rungkat work hard for every point for two and a half hours, and that is crucial since the Indonesians are relying on him to play three crucial games in this tie.”
PH Davis Cup administrator Randy Villanueva cited two line balls by Alcantara which were ruled out in the first-set tiebreak. He appealed for play with ITF chief referee David Smith as the chair umpire and the linesmen are all Indonesians.