Promising netter Alberto Lim Jr. and Filipino-American Ruben Gonzales will open the country’s campaign against Indonesia in the 2017 Asia-Oceania Davis Cup Group II tie beginning today at the Philippine Columbian Association indoor clay-shell court in Paco, Manila.
Lim, fresh from Australian Open juniors championship stint, will be battling David Agung Susanto in the first singles match at 3 p.m. to be followed by the second singles game between Gonzales and Aditya Hari Sasongko at 5 p.m.
“I’ll do my best since I’ll be playing in front of our countrymen. I’ve nothing to lose in this game, he’s (Susanto) a veteran player but I’m ready to face the challenge,” said the-17-year-old Lim, who ruled the PCA Open men’s singles at the same venue two years ago.
The doubles game is scheduled on Saturday with ATP World Tour campaigner Treat Conrad Huey and former Australian Open juniors doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara facing Anthony Susanto and Sunu-Wahyu Trijati.
The reverse singles will be on Sunday as Lim takes on Sasongko and Gonzalez tackles David Agung.
Karl Santamaria serves as non-playing team captain of the Philippine team.
Both teams are allowed to change their respective nominations one hour before the game.
“We have assembled a strong team and I believe it has what it takes to just not beat Indonesia but to bring back the Philippines in Group 1 of Asia Oceania competitions next year,” stressed Philippine team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier.
The winner of the Philippines-Indonesia tie will advance to the semifinals against the winner of the Thailand-Kuwait tie.
Indonesia holds a 6-4 edge against the Philippines in their head-to-head duel.
The Indonesians won the last two ties – in the final round of the 2012 Group II tie held at the Gelora Bung Karno Tennis Stadium in Jakarta (3-2) and in the first round of the 2000 Group II at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center (4-1).
The last time the Philippines won against Indonesia was in 1999 during the semifinals of Group II via a 4-1 decision at the Gelora Senayan Staidum also in Jakarta.