Life’s still a treat for ‘off-court’ ace Huey | Inquirer Sports
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Life’s still a treat for ‘off-court’ ace Huey

/ 04:40 AM May 03, 2020

OLD HAND Treat Huey has represented the country in several international tournaments, collecting three SEA Games gold medals in the process. —SHERWIN VARDELEON

Treat Huey was hot on a comeback trail. He had won two ITF Challenger doubles titles at the start of the year to open what he hoped to be the “second act” of his career. And then came the coronavirus.

Now he is back in Charleston, just outside Washington, D.C. where his wife Charlotte Aimee works at the front line of the pandemic as a hospital nurse.

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“I’m doing well. I have been home mostly but I have been able to go outside and run in a park nearby when it’s not too crowded, My wife is a nurse so she has been working a lot,” Huey, 34, told the Inquirer via direct message.

Huey returned from a back injury that sidelined him for most of the past two years. Last year, he checked back in with the national team, teaming up with fellow US-based ace Ruben Gonzales.

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He and Gonzales helped ensure an all-Filipino final in the Southeast Asian Games men’s doubles. Homegrown talents Francis Casey Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon eventually beat them for the gold.

That fueled his comeback as he captured titles in Columbus and Cleveland with American partner Nathaniel Lammons. His ranking once again rose to 121st in the world in doubles. His career best was No. 18 back in 2016.

That year, he reached the doubles semifinals of the Wimbledon and quarterfinals of the Australian Open in doubles.Born to Filipino mother Manina San Pedro-Huey, the left-handed doubles specialist has won three gold medals in the SEA Games.

“[When I was] growing up, my mother was big on having an education and doing well in school,” Huey said in a recent YouTube video hosted by Unified Tennis Philippines official Randy Villanueva.

“She would tell me about having backup plan, like ‘when are you going to get a real job? it’s always good to have a backup plan.’ And I did really well that year, like kinda move way up in ranking,” he said.

Huey, who eventually earned a degree at University of Virginia, said he would take that “very Filipino” upbringing now that he’s trying to raise a family himself.

Before the whole of tennis was scrapped in March, he and Dutch partner Sem Verbeek barged into the semifinals of the Indian Wells Challenger 125. That was the highest level he’s been in since a bulging disk and back spasms forced him out in early 2018.

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Now that he’s off the court once again, Huey is keeping his spirits high. “We are just trying to stay safe,” he said.

Just like everybody else these days. INQ

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