Davis Cup Opposition Leaves out Star Player
Friday, July 01, 2011
New Zealand’s opponents for the Asia/Oceania Group I Davis Cup tie to be held at the end of next week (8-10 July) at the indoor venue at the TSB Hub, Hawera have been confirmed with a shock non-selection in the Philippines team.
The Philippines have not named their top doubles player, Treat Huey who has a world ranking of 91 in doubles. However the visiting side will still have plenty of experience in the form of their playing captain, Cecil Mamiit. The 35-year-old does not have an ATP ranking anymore, but of late has been Maria Sharapova’s hitting partner. Mamitt has played in the main draw of all four Grand Slams and reached one ATP tournament final (San Jose in 1999) achieving his career-high ranking of 72 in 1999.
He has won over half a dozen challenger titles in a career which started on the professional circuit in the mid 90’s. He caused a massive upset at the 1997 Heineken Open where he beat Kiwi Brett Steven in the first round of the tournament. Mamiit has only played a few tournaments over the past couple of years, although his Davis Cup experience and court craft will make him no pushover.
The likely second singles player will probably be Ruben Gonzales who is ranked at 978 in singles and 570 in doubles. Gonzales had a solid junior and college career and attended University of Illinois where he was highly regarded for his fighting quality.
The other players in the team are Johnny Arcilla who is mainly a doubles player and Jeson Patrombon who has a singles ranking of 1378. Patrombon has a current ITF world junior ranking inside the top 20. He is the doubles partner of Kiwi junior Jaden Grinter for most junior tournaments including junior Wimbledon. As a singles player Patrombon has a best result of quarterfinals at the Australian Open juniors earlier this year.
New Zealand and the Philippines have played on four previous occasions in Davis Cup with the record standing at 3-1 to the Philippines. The Philippines won 3-1 in 1963 in Manila. New Zealand won 4-1 in 1989 in Manila. The Philippines won 4-1 in Auckland in 2007 and 4-1 in Manila in 2009.
The New Zealand team is Michael Venus who is currently playing in a US$50,000 Challenger tournament near Chicago, Artem Sitak, Rubin Statham and Marcus Daniell. Aside from Venus the Kiwi team is assembling in Auckland from tomorrow (Thursday) before travelling to Hawera over the weekend.
If New Zealand wins this Tie, this secures New Zealand in Group I for 2012. Tickets are now on sale www.tennisnz.comfor further information.
The Davis Cup tie will feature live streaming for the first time, while video and score updates will feature on facebook and twitter. More details to come in the next few days.
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas – New Zealand v Philippines at TSB Hub, Hawera, 8-10 July, 2011.
Playing captain: Cecil Mamiit
Non-playing captain: Marcel Vos