WISHAYA Trongcharoenchaikul made his 23rd birthday doubly special as he helped Thailand repeat over the Philippines, 4-1, on Sunday in their Asia Oceania Zone Group II second round tie at the Philippine Columbian Association shell-clay court in Plaza Dilao, Manila.
The 6-foot-3 Trongcharoenchaikul bombed the 5-foot-8 Jeson Patrombon with 11 aces on the way to a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 win, giving the top-seeded Thailand an insurmountable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five tie.
Trongcharoenchaikul won both his matches, earlier beating rising star Joseph Brian Otico in the opening singles.
By repeating over the Seoul Dragon City-backed Filipinos, the Thais advanced to the finals against either Lebanon or Hong Kong in September. The Lebanese lead their tie, 2-0.
The tie-clinching win was Trongcharoenchaikul’s fourth straight over a Filipino rival, having beaten AJ Lim and Petrombon at the same stage last year.
The Thais also evened their head-to-head duel with the Filipinos to 4-4.
Twins Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana started the day right for Thailand by downing Johnny Arcilla and Francis Casey Alcantara, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, in the doubles match that broke a 1-1 tie after splitting the first two singles matches last Saturday.
“It was a tough win, it took us some time to adjust to the surface but when won the tiebreaker, we gained confidence in our shots and that was it,” said Sonchat Ratiwatana.
The loss, however, hardly dampened the morale of Alcantara, saying: “We fell short but I’m happy with our performance.”
Otico, who took the place of the injured Lim, suffered 6-4, 6-3 defeat to Palaphoom Kovapitukted in the fifth match.