PH favored over Singapore in Fed Cup tiff


MANILA — The Philippines hopes to advance to the next round when it faces Singapore on Thursday in the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group 2 tie at the Bahrain Tennis Federation hard courts.

The Philippines and Singapore, which both defeated Kyrgyzstan in the Pool B round-robin, will square off at 10 a.m. (3 p.m. Manila time). The tie is played over best-of-three matches (two singles and one doubles).

The winner between the Philippines and Singapore will meet the winner in Pool D composed of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and host Bahrain.

Indonesia has a 2-0 win-loss slate after beating Bahrain (3-0) and Pakistan (3-0). It will face Sri Lanka on Thursday.

The Filipinos enjoy a 6-1 win-loss record over the Singaporeans.

The last time they met was in the 2016 promotional final playoff in Thailand, where the Philippines swept the two singles ( Khim Iglupas defeated Charmaine Shi Yi Sheah, 6-2, 6-4, while Filipino-German Katharina Lehnert won over Stephanie Tan, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4) in their best-of-three match.

Sheah, Tan, Lynelle En Tong Lim and newcomer Tammy Tan make up the Singaporean team, which finished seventh last year after losing to Pacific Oceania in the positional playoffs.

Carrying the fight for Team Philippines are 2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games singles silver medalist Anna Clarice Patrimonio, Marian Jade Capadocia, Lehnert and Iglupas.

During the SEA Games held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Lehnert teamed up with Fil-American Denise Dy, while Iglupas was paired with Albert “AJ” Lim Jr.

Patrimonio debuted in the Fed Cup in 2011, winning all her 11 singles matches. She also won 15 doubles matches, including eight with Capadocia.

Capadocia has played in the Fed Cup in 2012, 2013 and 2014. She has a 7-1 win-loss record in the singles and a 9-1 card in the doubles.

Former national player Czarina Mae Arevalo is the team captain of the Philippines, which is aiming to return to Group 1. She has played 32 ties during her eight-year stint with the Fed Cup squad.

The Philippines was relegated to Group 2 after losing all four of its ties at the Group 1 competition held in Astana, Kazakhstan last year.

Also scheduled to play on Thursday are New Zealand against Uzbekistan (Pool A). Pacific Oceania against Malaysia (Pool C) and Oman against Iran (Pool C).

Pacific Oceania leads Pool C with two wins, while Malaysia and Oman have identical 1-1 records.

The winners of each pool will face each other (A1 vs C1 and B1 vs D1) with the winners to be promoted to Group 1 in 2019.

The Fed Cup is the world’s biggest annual women’s team competition.