Tennis: Philippines beats New Zealand in opening singles at Davis Cup

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Friday, April 6, 2007

The Philippines beat New Zealand in the Asia-Oceania Group Two semi-final opening singles matches for the Davis Cup at the intimate surroundings of the Parnell Club Courts.

The Philippine team took the lead over New Zealand with two wins to zero.

The Good Friday morning match showcased the Philippines’ Cecil Mamiit, ranked 194 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), against the 19-year-old Rubin Statham, New Zealand's second ranked player and ranked 749 by the ATP. Mamiit defeated Statham with straight set wins of 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

The following match featured Eric Taino (547) against Kiwi, Simon Rea (668). Taino took command of the match at 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

The Filipino duo showed their best form amidst a home court crowd favouring their opponents.

Team Manager, Jean Henri Lhuillier President of Cebuna Lhuillier hailed the victory and said, "We are delighted over this victory. We have always believed that Cecil (Mamiit) and Eric (Taino) can carry the game against New Zealand even if it’s in their home court advantage."

Lhuillier further added, "We are hoping to sweep matches. It’s a tall order but with the wins, we hope our momentum will carry us to the next match."

Philippine Tennis Association president Luis Mendoza and Lhuillier applauded Eric Taino for playing a very good game against Rea.

Dan King-Turner (ATP 480) was omitted from the single’s match with Statham by team captain James Greenhalgh believing that Statham and Rea would be the best to beat Mamiit and Taino.

Patrick John "PJ" Tierro (ATP 890) and Johnny Arcilla (no ATP rank) is expected to play against King-Turner and Rea to determine if New Zealand can even the series against the Philippines.