MANILA — David Agung Susanto will banner Indonesia which will face host Philippines in the first round of the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group II tie next week, the International Tennis Federation announced on Wednesday.
The other Indonesians seeing action in the tournament scheduled February 3 to 5 at the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) indoor clay courts in Paco, Manila are Aditya Hari Sasongko, Anthony Susanto and Sunu-Wahyu Trijati.
Except for Anthony Susanto, all three players were part of the team which scored a 5-0 victory over Sri Lanka in the Group II relegation play-off tie last year. Anthony Susanto has replaced Christopher Rungkat. Team captain is Andrian Raturandang.
The 25-year-old David Agung Susanto is currently No. 739 in the world. He is a clay court specialist who owns four doubles titles and has played in four Davis Cup ties.
Indonesia has beaten the Philippines six times in four meetings, the last was in 2012 (3-2) in their home turf.
The Philippines, on the other hand, last won over Indonesia in 1999 in Jakarta. In 1997, Indonesia defeated the Philippines, 3-2, also at the PCA courts.
Veteran collegiate coach Karl Santamaria, who steered University of Santo Tomas and National University to several titles in the UAAP, was appointed anew as captain of the team comprising US-born Filipinos Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales, Francis Casey Alcantara and top junior Albert “AJ” Lim Jr., who is No. 35 in the world juniors rankings.
“It will be a tough tie especially since Indonesia has beaten us in the Southeast Asian Games team events in 2011 and 2015,” said the 37-year-old Santamaria, who has been supervising the training of Alcantara for the past two weeks while waiting for the arrival of Huey, Gonzales and Lim.
Huey, the world’s No. 22 doubles player, is competing in the Australian Open while Lim ended his campaign in the juniors event after losing in the second round on Tuesday. Gonzales is playing in Challengers in the US.
Last year, the team of Huey, Gonzales, Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon bowed to Chinese Taipei, 1-3, in the semifinal round to stay in Group II.
The winner of the tie will be promoted to Group I in 2018, while the loser will stay in Group II. Jean Malanum/PNA-northboundasia.com