PATRICK John Tierro looks to give the Philippines a quick start as he sees action in the first singles match against Pakistan’s Aqeel Khan in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group II second round tie on Friday at the Philippine Columbian Association in Manila.
Tierro and Khan clash at 10 a.m. followed by the second singles match between Ruben Gonzales and Samir Ifthikar.
Treat Conrad Huey teams up with Johnny Arcilla on Saturday to face off against fellow doubles specialist Aisam Qureshi, who will be partnering with Aqeel Khan on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Gonzales battles Khan and Tierro takes on Ifthikar in the reverse singles matches on Sunday.
Qureshi, ranked 27th in the world doubles rankings, sees an advantage for the Filipino netters as they will play at home and playing in the unpredictable shell clay court of the PCA.
The Filipinos are also ahead 5-1 in head-to-head match-ups.
“Obviously, the conditions suit the Philippine team because they are playing at home,” said the 34-year-old Qureshi during the draw ceremony on Thursday at the Parañaque City Hall.
“That’s part of Davis Cup. They have a good record at home just like us when we play in Pakistan. But we are getting used to it. That’s part of being a professional,” said Qureshi, a veteran of ATP tournaments.
Even the sweltering heat favors the Philippine team, according to Qureshi.
"Let's put it this way. It's not as humid and hot as the Philippines (in Pakistan)," Qureshi added.
Non-playing team captain Roland Kraut, however, downplayed the favorites tag.
“Sanay na rin sila. It will be a factor but not much because everything will even out pagdating sa laban. The only factor that will be in our favor na puwede natin i-control is our home crowd. ’Yun ang mag-pupush sa mga players and ’yun ang hinahanap nila,” said Kraut, whose team is coming off a 3-1 win over Sri Lanka earlier this year.
The winner will face either Thailand or Kuwait in the third round where promotion to Group I is at stake.