Having been the only squad in Asia-Oceania Group II who could win their tie on the second day, the RP Netters sealed the victory in convincing fashion.
Treat Huey and Francis Alcantara needed just a little more than two hours to dispose of Aldulrahman Alawadhi and Abdulhamid Mubarak in straight sets and send the Nationals to another semifinals tie in this level.
The Filipinos stamped their class early on as they romped to a 4-0 lead at the start of the first set. Huey and Alcantara consolidated their service breaks, holding both of their service games to love. After allowing Mubarak a service hold, Huey again leaned on his serve to push the lead to 5-1. The Kuwaitis tried to fuel their game after fending off double set points, and even grabbed their own game point on the Alawadhi serve. Nonetheless, service woes continued to hound the visitors as a double fault gave the Philippines another set point. Huey and Alcantara eventually closed out the set at 6-1.
It is more of the same in the second set, as the serving of the Filipinos continued to sizzle. Huey and Alcantara shook off some points conceded to the Kuwaitis on their service games to clinically mount another huge 5-0 advantage. Mubarak again held serve and forced the Filipinos to serve for the second frame, which Huey gladly accepted. The Philippine Mavericks captain dropped his first points of the match on serve, but the Filipinos forced the opponents to commit mistakes and wrapped up the second on a similar scoreline.
The Philippines never looked back and kept on doing well in all fronts. Huey and Alcantara this time performed like a well-oiled machine and once more led at 5-0. Impressively, the Nationals only dropped three points in that span. However, Alawadhi and Mubarak attempted and succeeded on their last-ditch efforts. After leading 0-30 on the Huey serve, an emphatic forehand winner from Mubarak put them on the score board and carved the solitary break of the former’s serve. Alawadhi then bucked off triple match points and held his serve for the only time in the match. Nevertheless, the Filipinos finished off the match with an Alacantara service winner at 6-2.
Huey was pleased on how he and Alcantara had performed in the match. “Niño and I played really well.” He also added that despite facing unranked opponents, the confidence going into the match did not rise up a notch. Huey furthered, “Confidence was the same no matter who we’re going up against.” The Philippine Mavericks captain also shared that he believes that the team can perform well in the next tie as also evident with the results in the tournaments they have played in outside of the Cup.
On his part, Alcantara was also relieved that they were able to close put the tie and booked our ticket to the semifinals. “[It is] one step closer sa goal natin na makabalik sa Group I,” he said.
With the motivation still burning, the Philippine Davis Cup team is ready to face either Chinese Taipei or Malaysia in the second round of the Group II Asia-Oceania tie. As of this writing, the Taiwanese lead the Malaysians, 2-1. That semifinal tie is scheduled to be played on July 15–17.
The dead singles rubbers of this current tie will still be played tomorrow, but will be best-of-three-sets instead of the usual best-of-five.
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