PH Davis Cup bid hangs after dropping 2-0 in singles to Chinese Taipei
The Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippines Davis Cup bid teetered on the brink as Chinese Taipei knocked in a 2-0 start Friday, winning the opening singles of their Asia/Oceania Group 2 semifinal in Kaohsiung.
Hung Jui-chen dealt the Philippines’ top player Jeson Patrombon a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 beating in the first rubber before the host’s top gun Lu Yen-hsun downed Patrick John Tierro, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in the second singles.
To stay alive, the Philippines now needs to win Saturday’s doubles where Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales battle Peng Hsien-yin and Lee Hsin-han.
“We have been in this situation before, and we are confident can still pull off,” said team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier. “There’s no question about the Filipinos’ fighting heart.”
The last time the Philippine recovered — and won — from 0-2 was in 2010 against Korea in a Group 1 relegation tie played in Changwon.
Philippine Tennis Association vice president Randy Villanueva said the pressure may have gotten the better of Patrombon who failed to get his rhythm in the match.
“Jeson didn’t play as good, he can play so much better than how he played today,” said Villanueva. “Maybe the pressure of Davis Cup got the best of him. But one big difference is that he played with a lot of heart in spite of the score.”
Villanueva added that Patrombon reminded him of Cecil Mamiit with his scrappy brand of game.
The Philippines is hoping to make a leap to elite Group 1 through a tie. A loss here would relegate the country another stint in Group where it was staying since 2012.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.