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Davis Cup

Alcantara, Gonzales take one for Philippines in Davis Cup, down Greeks

Francis Alcantara and Ruben Gonzales had to bleed against Petros Tsitsipas and Markos Kalovelonis but still emerged victorious in two sets, 7-6, 6-4, to take one match in the Davis Cup 2020 World Group II Playoffs, Saturday at the Philippine Columbian Association. 

The Greeks took the first service break to lead the first set at 4-3. But the Filipinos broke back and consolidated in the next game to threaten to clinch the set at 5-4.

Exchange of spectacular shots and winners especially at the net saw the frame extend into a tiebreak. Gonzales and Alcantara took advantage of the errors from the Greeks to bag the frame at 7-5 in the extension.

In the second set, Tsitsipas and Kalovelonis tried to extend the match with a 3-1 advantage, capitalizing on the miscues from the Filipino pair.

Nonetheless, Gonzales and Alcantara were able to find their groove with well-timed passing shots. Errors from the Europeans late in the game also led to the eventual win for the Philippines.

Alcantara felt relieved that they were able to pull through. He said, “Nung na-break ‘yung serve ko, then all we knew tiebreak na. Good thing we were up 4-1 and we won it 7-5.”

Gonzales added, “We didn’t get to play doubles together very much, so it took as a couple of games to get out tactics right, and once we got the tactics right, executing them.

“We got a lot of chances to break, so I thought we’re in it the whole time. Then, we got a good break and we got a good game to close.”

Jeson Patrombon will try to pull off a gigantic upset in the reverse singles against world number 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas later in the day. AJ Lim will take on Petros Tsitsipas for the decider if such a stunner happens.

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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