PHL drops 2 singles-A A +A
Saturday, September 14, 2013
RUBEN Gonzales had several moments of brilliance and he played his heart out –all four hours of it—but only to succumb to a determined Kiwi at match’s end.
Armed with the thought of playing for their countries, both the Philippines’ Gonzales and New Zealand’s Michael Venus played their hearts out and in the end, it was Venus who survived a grueling four-hour match that went the distance, 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-0, to win the first singles match in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group 2 promotional final at the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa.
Venus was down two sets to one and was trailing 4-2 in the fourth set tiebreak but overcame this with big winners.
“You know, if you are playing for country you are just inspired,” said Venus, who added that he was so tired after the match.
The match started at around 4 p.m. and finished past 8 p.m.
And as the sun started to set and the temperature started getting cooler, it seemed Gonzales’ prowess early in the match started to dissipate, while that of Venus built up.
In the fourth set, Gonzales was actually at ahead, 5-4, after scoring two aces and looked headed to break Venus as he took the lead 30-love, but the Kiwi wouldn’t have any of it.
Backed by a handful of Kiwis who turned out to cheer for their countryman, Venus then fought with all his might to even the set at 5-all.
Gonzales then won the next game to take the lead once more but Venus forced for a tiebreak.
Once more Gonzales had the upperhand, leading 4-2 in the tiebreak, but the Kiwi suddenly regained his composure and went unstoppable scoring the next five points to win the set and to extend the match to a deciding fifth set.
After having squandered the opportunity that was at his fingertips, Gonzales looked defeated going into the final set. Venus, however, suddenly had his second wind following the morale-boosting tiebreak win and blanked Gonzales in the last set.
Venus held serve in the first game and broke Gonzales in the second to take the lead.
This seemed to disappoint the Filipino netter and became sloppy in the remaining games with the Kiwi taking advantage of it to finish the set in less than 30 minutes.
In the second singles, Johnny Arcilla who holds the country’s record for most wins in a Davis Cup doubles match, lost Today, the Philippines’ Treat Huey and Francis Casey Alcantara will be taking on Marcus Daniell and Venus and will try to extend the tie to the reverse singles on Sunday. The winner of this tie will advance to Group 1, while the loser stays in Group 2.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 14, 2013.