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Huey, pal go down fighting

Treat Huey. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

PHILIPPINE tennis hailed the “heroic performance” of its top player Treat Huey who, along with Belarusian partner Max Mirnyi, lost in the semifinals of the Wimbledon men’s doubles in London on Thursday.

Huey and Mirnyi yielded a hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-3), 6-4, 6-4 decision to top seeds and World No. 1 pair Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France at the Center Court of the famed All England Club.

But for Philippine Tennis Association vice president Randy Villanueva and Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup team captain Karl Santamaria, Huey’s breakthrough run in the most prestigious of the tennis majors boosted the sport in the country.

“With Treat’s semifinal result in Wimbledon and excellent results in the clay and grass court season in Europe, he will be coming in with a lot of momentum and confidence that will hopefully rub off on the rest of the squad,” said Santamaria.

Huey was given ample time in interviews by Wimbledon media, focusing on the fact that he was the first and only Filipino so far to have made the semifinals in Grand Slam events.

He also made the last four in the mixed doubles of this year’s Australian Open with Slovenian Andreja Klepac. Currently ranked 24th in the world, Huey is also expected to break inside the top 20 in doubles.

Santamaria said he talked to Huey right after the three-hour semifinal match that ended around 1 a.m. in Manila.

“He sounded disappointed as he felt they had the match within reach, but he is excited to lead the team against Chinese Taipei,” said the Filipino mentor. Marc Anthony Reyes

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