Philippines draws level with Thailand in penultimate day of Davis Cup
MANILA, Philippines – Jeson Patrombon delivered a virtuoso performance as the Philippine salvaged a 1-1 draw with top seed Thailand in the opening singles of their Asia Oceania Zone Group II second round tie on Saturday, April 7, at the Philippine Columbian Association shell-clay court.
Nominated as the country’s No. 1 player, Patrombon broke the serve of Thai No. 2 Jirat Navasirisomboon right in the first game of their opening set on the way to scoring a 6-2, 6-2 win.
Using his familiarity of the surface to full advantage, the feisty Iligan City netter threw the Thai out of his comfort zone with a variety of shots that caught his rival flat-footed most of the time.
“Good start for us, Jeson was very patient he never allowed Jirat a space to attack,” said Philippine captain Chris Cuarto. “He saw Jirat’s weakness, so binigay nya halos lahat ng bola sa backhand nya kaya nag-stuggled yung Thai (He saw Jirat's weakness, so he gave almost all of his attacks from the backhand that's why the Thai struggled)."
“Weakness talaga niya 'yung backhand since nung huli po kaming naglaban. Kaso noon po, nakuha niya 'yung game ko. Pero dito ako naman 'yung nagkakumpiyansa. Hindi ko na siya binigyan ng chance,” said Patrombon, who fired 3 aces and 9 service winners.
(His weakness is really the backhand since the last time we went against each other. But at the time, he won the game. But now, it's my turn to gain confidence. I didn't give him a chance.)
The spark ignited by Patrombon was, however, snuffed out by Thai No. 1 Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul who used his vast experience to beat 19-year-old Joseph Brian Otico, 6-3, 6-4.
The opening day results made Saturday's doubles match very important, with Francis Casey Alcantara and Johnny Arcilla going up against twins Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana.
“Critical sa amin ito bukas, but we like our chances kasi sila gusto nila hardcourt, ako naman dito,” said Arcilla, who is undoubtedly the best shell-court player the country has ever produced.
(Tomorrow is critical, but we like our chances because they like the hardcourt, but in my case [I like it] here [clay court].)
The reverse singles are also scheduled in the afternoon with Patrombon taking on Trongcharoenchaikul who is celebrating his 23rd birthday. The second reverse match will be played 30 minutes after the 4th rubber. – Rappler.com