Thu, 04 Mar 1999

Davis team member Edy faces penalty for skupping practice

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia's Davis Cup team member Edy Kusdaryanto has skipped practice for two days due to illness.

Coach Dedy Prasetyo said on Wednesday that Edy only informed the Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti) office staff about his absence instead of contacting him personally.

"I'm still checking out whether he is seriously ill or not. I'm worried that he is suffering Hepatitis B again, which he had two years ago. But if he only has influenza, hopefully he'll rejoin the squad soon," he said.

"Suffering hepatitis would mean Edy doesn't meet national team requirements because his physical condition would be below par."

Dedy blamed Edy's love of nightlife as the main cause of his illness.

"An athlete must be disciplined in practice, rest and diet. That's a good lifestyle. With Edy's habit of hanging out at night, I'm sure his physical condition easily deteriorates," Dedy said.

The coach is to send a warning letter if Edy does not show up or call him personally this weekend. He will likely expel the 24- year-old player and appoint a replacement if there is no response to the warning.

Edy, who joined the Davis Cup team in 1996, is being prepared for the match against the Philippines from April 2 to 4 in the Senayan Indoor Stadium along with teammates Suwandi, Febi Widhiyanto and Hendri Susilo Pramono. They won their first match against Qatar last month.

World-ranked 840 Andrian Raturandang, doubles specialist Bonit Wiryawan and junior Surya Wijaya are among those under consideration to replace Edy.

Dedy said he would stage a fitness test next week to evaluate athletes' endurance and strength.

"If Edy can take part in the test and the result is negative, I'll put him on the bench. Too bad that he skips practice because he has a good chance of playing in the singles," the coach said.

He also said Pelti has received a letter from the Philippines saying that its players approved of playing in Jakarta having been given maximum security since their arrival.

The Filipinos had asked the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to move the Davis Cup semifinal of the Group II Asia Oceania zone to a neutral country. But Pelti has assured them of security in the capital.

If Indonesia beats the Philippines, it will then meet the winner between Thailand and Iran in the final in September. The venue has yet to be decided.

Dedy said he would call up all players who participated in the national selection process in January to play in a simulation for the Davis Cup. They are Samsudin Pare, Surya, Sebastian da Costa, Stanley Sanger, Bonit and Sulistyo Wibowo. (yan)