|Marian Capadocia and AJ Lim shake hands with India’s Divij Sharan and Kamran Thandi at the mixed doubles category of the 2018 Asian Games tennis event (file photo).|
By: Kristoffer Ed Bellen
MANILA—The Philippine national tennis team weathered a gutsy test in the first day of the 2018 Asian Games after prevailing in two of their first three assignments at the JSC Tennis Court, in Jabaring City, Palembang, Indonesia, Sunday.
All of the country's tennis players, except Filipino-German Katharina Lehnert, suited up in the commencement of the six-day scheduled tennis affair at the 18th Asiad as the Philippines' bets went on to secure two second round slots after their first three outings.
Twenty-five year old tennis player Jeson Patrombon scored the team's first victory after almost pulling off a double bagel over Timor Leste's Nazario Fernandes Gusmao in the first round of the men's singles, 6-1, 6-0.
Several hours later, Patrombon and Philippines' top doubles player Francis Casey Alcantara also made quick work against Qatar's Jabor Al-Mutawa and Mubarak Zayid, 6-4, 6-2, to set up an action-packed secound round date against the fourth seeded duo of Chinese-Taipei.
"It was a good match. (We) played solid all through out the match," Alcantara said in an exclusive online interview with Dugout Philippines.
"(We) will just have to play our game. We are the underdogs for sure," he added as he and Patrombon are set to face world's number 190 and 143 Ti Chen and Hsien Yin-Peng, respectively.
Meanwhile, Marian Capadocia and AJ Lim, finished the campaign of the country on day one after falling short against Asian powerhouse Divij Sharan and Kamran Thandi of India, 6-4, 6-4.
Capadocia and Lim were out of their usual self as they were pushed to commit 33 unforced errors compared Sharan and Thandi's 19, while also failing to convert all of their four breakpoints.
Nonetheless, Capadocia and Lim will have the chance to avenge their losses tomorrow when they open their respective singles matches after both acquiring first round byes as the former battles with Japan's ninth seed Eri Hozumi while the latter faces the 13th seeded Chinese player Zhizhen Zhang.
Capadocia and Lehnert will likewise open their women's doubles campaign against Kazakhstan's Anna Danilina and Gozal Ainitdinova.
On the other hand, Patrombon will complete Monday's lineup of matches for the team Philippines when he attempts to reach the last 16 against Yibing Wu of China.
Follow the writer on Twitter: @KristoffBellen