THE Philippines swept its opening matches on Friday in straight sets to move within a win of dispatching Pakistan in their Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group II tie at the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) courts.
Patrick John Tierro swept past Pakistan’s top singles netter Aqeel Khan, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4, in the first singles match before Ruben Gonzales followed it up with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win over Samir Ifthikar to give the Filipino Davis Cuppers a 2-0 lead in their second-round tie.
Treat Conrad Huey and Johnny Arcilla look to clinch a spot in the third and final round of Group II when they take on Aisam Qureshi and Khan in the doubles match set on Saturday, 1 p.m. at the PCA courts.
Tierro’s win over Khan was his first in Davis Cup matches at the PCA.
“I think I lost five or six straight matches in Davis Cup. And in this court, I haven’t won any match (in Davis Cup play) here. Winning here is a boost for the team,” said Tierro, who is making a return to Davis Cup competition after a five-year absence.
The 28-year-old Gonzales survived a tight first set against Ifthikar, the youngest player in the tie at 22, before putting the Pakistani away with a fine display in the shell clay courts of the PCA.
“He broke my serve twice in the first set. That was a tight set. I was able to get a lead and played a little bit better,” said Gonzales. “I like to play in a court like this. It makes me be a little bit more creative. It fits my game pretty well."
A high-quality match is expected on Saturday with Huey and Qureshi having played in numerous ATP doubles tournaments in the past.