Davis Cup tie: Tierro, Gonzales kick off PH drive
MANILA, Philippines—Patrick John Tierro expressed confidence about his chances against his tormentor last year, Harsahana Godamanna, as he kicks off the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippines’ bid against Lanka Friday in the opening singles of the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania group 2 tie at Valle Verde Country Club.
Ruben Gonzales, the country’s No. 2 player, will take on top Sri Lanka campaigner, 18-year-old Sharmal Dissanayake, in the second singles based on yesterday’s draw presided over by chief ITF referee David Smith of New Zealand and Valle Verde sports director Ritchie Lozada.
Treat Huey and Francis Casey Alcantara will play in tomorrow’s doubles against Dissanayake and Godamanna, while the reverse singles on Sunday will pit Tierro against Dissanayake and Gonzales against Godamanna.
“I lost to him by the narrowest margins,” said Tierro, who dropped the opening singles to Godamanna (6-4, 6-7 (10-8), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3) in Colombo last year. “But now it’s a different story. I have been playing a lot since then. Let’s see what happens.”
Despite the loss, the Filipinos, who last played in Group 1 in 2011, went on to win the next three matches to secure a 3-1 victory and preserve an 8-0 head-to-head edge over the Sri Lankans.
“We came here to pull a surprise, maybe win a match or two and see how it goes,” said Sri Lanka non-playing captain Rohan Silva. His other players are Dineshkantan Thangarajah and Sankha Atukarale.
PH non-playing captain Roland Kraut refused to make any predictions except to say the team is in top shape and has been training on the shell-clay courts for the past three weeks.
Huey doesn’t feel any pressure playing on home soil following his stint with the Manila Mavericks in the International Premier Tennis League last December.
“No, not at all. I feel excited even,” said Huey, who ranks world No. 50 in doubles.
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