Tierro, Gonzales with twin kill for PHI squad in Davis Cup

Mark Escarlote on Mar 06, 2015 08:25 PM
Tierro, Gonzales deliver singles win for PHI in Davis Cup

Top player Patrick John Tierro gave a loud shout almost simultaneously as the ball hit the net after lefty Harshana Godammana’s forehand return.

Tierro delivered the first singles win for the Cebuana Lhullier-Philippine team as the 29-year-old Pinoy netter exacted revenge on his Sri Lankan opponent in a dramatic, 5-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-3 come-from-behind decision Friday night in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group 2 tie at the shell-clay court of Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City.

No. 2 Ruben Gonzales followed suit with a clinical 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 dismantling of 19-year-old Sharmal Dissanayake in the second singles match to give the Philippines a commanding 2-0 tie lead. 

Pepperdine University standout Francis Casey Alcantara and Treat Huey, who will be seeing action for the first time since playing alongside superstars Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the Manila Mavericks in the International Premier Tennis League maiden leg here in Manila last November, could hammer the final nail in the coffin against the duo of Dissanayake and Godamanna in the doubles match set at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Tierro took four match points before finally getting the breather in the three and a half-hour match.        

Godammana, who got the best of Tierro last year in Colombo, 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4, 2-6, 3-6 in the first singles match before Sri Lanka eventually bowed down to the Filipinos 3-1, forced the third deuce in the fifth set with a perfect forehand winner that got past Tierro in his left side of the court.      

But Tierro returned fire with a wicked forehand that Godammana sent back far wide to the right.

Feeling the kill, the partisan crowd cheered Tierro and the veteran Davis Cupper didn’t fail this time, hitting a fast one that the Sri Lankan ran smack in the net before throwing his racket to the wall in disgust.

“Yeah,” Tierro said when asked about the satisfaction he felt in his revenge win. “It was a heartbreaking loss last year and I was thinking nu’ng natatalo ako sa second set na parang another heartbreaking loss na parang ganu’n na I might lose again. Parang siyempre nagko-cross sa mind ko pero parang sabi ni coach forget about the first two sets. Every point lang and then just focus lang. At least nanalo.”  

Tierro battled Godammana in a see-saw match in the third before pulling away for good to extend the match.

The Filipino got his rhythm in the fourth frame, getting his ground strokes going as the Sri Lankan faded.        

“Yun naman ang kailangan, isang set lang mabubuhay ka na. He got confidence in the first two sets. Tapos I was down sabi nga ni coach stay in the point. Every point try mo siyang pahirapan every serve niya and then it paid off naman,” Tierro said.

Tierro broke Godammana’s service for his second point in the fifth as the Filipino race to a 3-0 lead before the Sri Lankan stopped the bleeding. The two exchanged points in the next games as Godammana closed in 3-5 before the Tierro finally sealed the match.              

Tierro and Dissanayake will play in the first reverse singles on Sunday while Gonzales pairs with Godamanna in the last singles event.





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