Treat Huey marked his return to the big stage in a big way.
The Philippine national tennis team mainstay and Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia took down Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France and Rohan Bopanna of India, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, to win their opening round match in section two of the 2022 Australian Open men’s doubles tournament, Wednesday at Court Five of Melbourne Park.
After a slow start in the first set, Huey and Rungkat got their bearings in the second set which was a nip and tuck battle that led to a tiebreak. After Roger-Vasselin and Bopanna held serve to go up 2-1 in the tiebreak, Huey and Rungkat snatched the next six points to close out the set and even the match.
What was expected to be a tight ending to the match turned out to be a lopsided affair. After tying the count at 1-all in the third set, Huey and Rungkat broke both serves of Roger-Vasselin and Bopanna as the Filipino and Indonesian pair raced to a 5-1 advantage. A token comeback by the French and Indian duo helped them earn another game, but Huey and Rungkat eventually closed out the match in the eighth game of the third set.
This was Huey’s first grand slam event since the 2018 Australian Open which saw him exit in the first round. Injuries have plagued Huey in recent years which saw his ATP ranking plummet to its current standing of 137th in the world. He was at one point the 18th ranked doubles player in the world in 2016 and made the semifinals of Wimbledon and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open that same year.
Rungkat, 152nd in the world ranking, is playing in his first-ever Australian Open. He saw action in three grand slam doubles events in 2019, making the second round of the French Open and getting the boot in the opening rounds of Wimbledon and the US Open.
Huey and Rungkat are the only Southeast Asian doubles pair in this year’s Australian Open.
Huey and Rungkat will face the second round the winner of the match pitting 16th seeds Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan and Franko Skugor of Croatian against the Australian wildcard pair of Dane Sweeney and Li Tu which takes place tomorrow.