LAPU-LAPU CITY – The slight drizzle hardly slowed down Johnny Arcilla as the Filipino netter scored a 6-4, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 win over Issam Haitham Taweel to take the head start in the Philippines-Syria Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group II tie Friday night at the clay court of the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa here.
Ruben Gonzales, the Fil-Am netter nominated as PH’s no. 1 player, later made it 2-0 for the host following a three-set win over Syrian no. 2 Marc Abdelnour in the second singles match, 6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-2.
Saved for a brief lull when rain fell and forced the match to be stopped for 20 minutes, the 31-year-old Arcilla was all-business against his no.925 world ranked Syrian opponent, whom he put away for good by sweeping the last two sets of the first singles game of the best-of-five tie.
The drizzle obviously cut short the Filipino’s momentum in the second set, allowing Taweel to rally back from a 4-1 deficit and even the score at 1-1.
But that was the best the 6-foot-1 Syrian could offer.
As Taweel faded fast, Arcilla pounced on the opportunity and clinched the next two sets for the win.
Treat Huey and Elbert Anasta will suit up for the Philippines in Saturday’s doubles against Abdelnour and Majdi Salim as the host goes for a sweep of the tie.