Wed, 05 Jan 2000

Davis Cup team leaves for India on Wednesday

JAKARTA (JP): Five national Davis Cup team members have received sponsorship to compete in three US$10,000 future tournaments in India as a warm-up to the Davis Cup match in February.

Team coach Dedy Prasetyo said on Tuesday that the five members -- Sebastian Da Costa, Suwandi, Febi Widhiyanto, Hendri Susilo Pramono and Edy Kusdaryanto -- would leave for India on Wednesday.

Future 1 is from Jan. 10 to Jan. 16 at SAAP-APLTA Tennis Complex in Secunderabad, F2 is from Jan. 17 to Jan. 23 at KSLTA & Century Club at Bangalore and F3 kicks off Jan. 24 and runs to Jan. 29 at Nungambakkan Tennis Stadium in Nungambakkan, Chenai.

The most senior member of the team, Dede Suhendar Dinata, withdrew from the sponsorship to give the juniors a chance, said Dedy. He added that Suwandi was sponsored by businesswoman Martina Widjaja.

The Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti) announced earlier that Pelti would not finance the six athletes in the futures in India for financial reasons. The athletes will be sent instead on a tour before top officials of state-owned Petrokimia Gresik company in East Java, privately owned Djarum and Gudang Garam cigarette companies in Central and East Java respectively and PT Maspion plastic company in Surabaya to seek sponsorship.

Dedy, however, insisted that the players must compete in India as part of the training preparation for the Davis Cup match.

"We have received financial support from certain people who refuse to have their names made public. The sponsorship includes transportation and accommodation in India. But the amount is just barely enough. The players are told to use the prize money to buy their meals," he said, refusing to divulge the amount given to each player.

But he hinted that each person received less than US$75 a day, which was normally given to a player who competes overseas.

"The amount is beyond the standard. I'm quite ashamed to mention it. A player normally needs about $60 to pay for his hotel per night and another $45 for meal and transportation. But we receive less than that," he said.

He said he would take responsibility should the money not cover players' needs until the end of January.

The Indonesian Davis Cup team will face the second seeded Filipinos in the first round of the Group II Asia Oceania Zone, which will be held from Feb. 4 to Feb. 6 in the Rizal Memorial Tennis Complex in Manila. (ivy)