• PH stays in Davis Cup Group 2

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    The Philippines failed to advance to the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group 2 finals after losing Saturday’s doubles match and giving Thailand a 3-0 lead in their best-of-five tie at the National Tennis Development Center in Nonthanburi, north of Bangkok.

    First-time partners Patrick John Tierro and Jeson Patrombon tried but failed to overcome the formidable Ratiwatana twins Sanchai and Somchat, who eventually won 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 after one hour and 21 minutes of action at the National Tennis Development Center outdoor court in Muang Thong Thani.

    Sonchat is ranked No. 87 while Sonchai is No. 92 in the doubles.

    Tierro, who has a perfect record in the doubles (4-0) since he debuted in the Davis Cup in 2004, and Patrombon were recalled to the team after US-based Filipinos Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales begged off due to injuries.

    ”It’s going to be tough. They are one of the best doubles pair in Asia,” said the 31-year-old Tierro when asked to comment on the Ratiwatana twins.

    ”We just have to do our best. This is our first team-up,” said Tierro, referring to Patrombon, ranked No. 1144 in singles and No. 1109 in doubles.

    Patrombon, who was born and raised in Lanao del Norte’s Iligan City, never played doubles since he joined the Davis Cup team in 2011. He has played in eight ties, winning all his five singles matches.

    The Thai siblings, who accounted for five aces, tallied 88 points. They got 94 percent (17/18) in second serve, winning 14/17 (82 percent).

    The Filipinos had a total of 56 points. While they got 92 percent in second serve, they only converted 10/23 (43 percent). They also committed two double faults.

    Thailand took a 2-0 lead on Friday after sweeping the opening day singles matches.

    World’s No. 725 Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul delivered the first point with his 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-3 victory over Alberto “AJ” Lim Jr., while Jirat Navasirisomboon defeated Patrombon, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1, 6-1 in their match which was delayed by late afternoon showers that lasted for two-and-a-half hours.

    The Philippines will remain in Group 2 next year while Thailand will face Pakistan in the finals in September with the winner being promoted to Group 1 and the loser staying in Group 2.

    PNA

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