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Tennis veterans rue missed opportunity to play in Davis Cup

FRANCIS Casey Alcantara slides to return a shot against Thai twins Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana as teammate Johnny Arcilla looks on during Davis Cup action at the Philippine Columbian Association in Paco, Manila. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
FRANCIS Casey Alcantara slides to return a shot against Thai twins Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana as teammate Johnny Arcilla looks on during Davis Cup action at the Philippine Columbian Association in Paco, Manila. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
PH Davis Cup veterans Francis Casey Alcantara (left) and Fil-Am Treat Huey. (File)

By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

Davis Cup veterans Francis Casey Alcantara and Treat Huey lamented the country’s non-participation in the ongoing Asia Oceania Group III competitions in Amman, Jordan.

The Philippine Tennis Association, which has the authority to form a team, is serving a two-year ban by the International Tennis Federation.

“I’m sad that we are banned from playing the Davis Cup,” said Alcantara, who was part of the team that saw action against Greece in the World II Playoffs that the country hosted in March 2020.

Alcantara, who has been part of the squad since 2009, said some of his acquaintances playing in the tie have inquired about their absence in the competition.

“I just told them what happened and how we got banned by the ITF,” he said.

The ITF suspended Philta last year on the basis of “long-standing governance failings” after snubbing deadlines given by the international body to submit reportorial requirements, which include plans for amending the constitution to increase memberships.

Fellow Davis Cup veteran Treat Huey said he is heartbroken with the situation.

“It’s heartbreaking that I don’t have the opportunity to represent the country this week and help the team earn promotion to Group II,” said Huey, who has played 21 ties for the team since 2009.

“To have the team withdrawn from the Davis Cup this year by the ITF because of the state of our tennis association is truly sad,” the multiple Southeast Asian Games gold medalist added.

The PH Davis Cup team would have been competing against Hong Kong, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Pacific Oceania, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Syria and Vietnam in the three-pool round-robin stage where the top three nations after the four-day affair will advance to the 2022 World Group II Playoffs.

The country has been competing in the Davis Cup since 1921 and has become an Eastern Zone champion in 1957, 1958, 1960 and 1964. The country reached the World Group playoffs in 1991, although it has never appeared in the competition’s top tier.

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Written by Tempo Desk

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