Huey on a mission to prove he still has a lot to offer for PH tennis
Treat Huey is slowly coming back in the ranks of the world’s best in men’s doubles tennis. And at 35 years old, the first Filipino to reach a Grand Slam semifinals feels it’s never too late.Over the past few months, Huey, partnering with Dutch Sem Verbeek, has reached semifinals in four straight ATP Challenger tournaments.
“It’s a long way to go to get back to the top 20 in the world, but I am playing well and can compete for the biggest tournaments in the world with my game so I don’t see why I can’t ride up the rankings again,” Huey told the Inquirer.
Bulging discs and back spasm threatened his career back in 2018 and saw him slipping out the world rankings from as high as No. 18 in doubles in 2016.But what he considered his career-low was when he was passed over in the selection of the national team for Davis Cup last year against Greece.
“As a national player, I had not been selected for Davis Cup and [I] feel left out,” he said. “And like they want to push me aside even though I have had some pretty good results and can compete at a very high level.”
So slowly, he proved his worth once again, climbing in world doubles rankings to his current 118th. Quietly, he racked up three International Tennis Federation titles last year alongside American Nathaniel Lammons.
“Coming up, I will get into a few ATP 250 events and I am looking to keep moving up the rankings. I will hopefully get into the French Open and then Wimbledon this summer,” he said.
He’s treading a familiar path. After all, he has reached semifinals of the Wimbledon in 2016 partnering with Belarus’ Max Mirnyi. Earlier that year, he made the semifinals of the Australian Open in tandem with Slovenian Andreja Klepac.
He twice reached quarterfinals in Australian Open men’s doubles (2014 and 2016) and quarters of the US Open (2013). In between those years, he won for the Philippines three Southeast Asian Games gold medals and helped the country reach Group 1 in Davis Cup.
“I still love playing and competing and when I am playing well, I have the ability to win any tournament I play,” said Huey. “That’s why I am still trying to comeback and am doing everything I can to play my best tennis.”
In other words: Don’t count him out just yet.
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