Lift from Huey, Alcantara

PHILIPPINE tennis officials feel that the sport is finally on the rise.

Propped up by the recent breakthroughs of Treat Huey in the Australian Open and that of Francis Casey Alcantara in the ATP Challenger Philippines, Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) chair Jean Henri Lhuillier yesterday said they will go all-out to further develop the sport.

The long-time tennis patron said they have lined up tournaments that would match Filipino players against top-caliber opposition like the $75,000 ATP Challenger held here where Alcantara and Indonesian Christopher Rungkat reached the final.

“It shows that our players have what it takes to become world-beaters given the right opportunities,” said Lhuillier of the Southeast Asian pair who toppled top seeds Ilja Bozoljac of Serbia and Andreas Siljestrom of Sweden in the first round.

The Southeast Asians hurdled taller and more experienced foe to make the finals but eventually lost to 2012 Wimbledon doubles champ Frederik Nielsen of Denmark and Johan Brunstrom of Sweden in the finals.

Huey paired with Slovenian Andreja Klepac to make the Australian Open semifinals in Melbourne, the first time a Filipino reached that far in a Grand Slam.

Huey and Klepac ran into reigning Wimbledon doubles titlist Horia Tecau of Romania and American Coco Vandeweghe.

Huey and Alcantara will lead the Philippines when it hosts Kuwait in the Davis Cup first round tie on March 4 to 6.


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