Febi, Hendri hope to reach top 300 next year
JAKARTA (JP): Indonesian men's tennis players Febi Widhiyanto and Hendri Susilo Pramono are expected to improve their ATP rankings and reach the top 300 next year.
Coach Deddy Prasetyo told reporters in a press conference on Wednesday that Febi and Hendri would compete in eight tournaments in the Bundesliga and three US$15,000 Futures in Germany.
"I hope by competing in the German league, they can reach the world top 300 next year. Now Febi is ranked 711 and the second best in the country after Dede Suhendar Dinata with the ranking of 636 while Hendri is in 926th position. I also hope they both can help the club to win the league."
The two Indonesian players received sponsorship from PT Asuransi Allianz Life Indonesia in life insurance policies worth US$25,000 each. The sponsorship is an extended program from last year's deal.
They will join BW Schwetzingen tennis club in southern Germany after qualifying in three tournaments in Memmingen, Ludwigashafen and Offenbach last year. They will be coached by Peter Traeutlein, a famous regional head coach of the German Tennis Federation (DTB).
Febi said: "I was lucky to have a sponsor in this period when many of my friends have had problems getting one. I aim to do my best during my stay in Germany to help my club win the league title."
He expressed optimism that he and Hendri would be able to reach the world's top 300.
"As long as we have sponsors to compete in many tournaments abroad, I believe I can reach the target."
Febi just returned from Kuala Lumpur as a member of the country's Davis Cup team. He contributed two points in the match where Indonesia overwhelmed host Malaysia 5-0. Febi also joined the 1999 Southeast Asian Games contingent where he reached the men's singles semifinals and the men's doubles semifinals, partnering Hendri.
Hendri joined the Davis Cup team during the tie against the Philippines in February. He played doubles with Edy Kusdaryanto. In the just-concluded match against Malaysia, they were replaced by seniors Bonit Wiryawan and Sulistyo Wibowo.
They will return to Indonesia on June 14 to compete in the 15th National Games (PON) in Surabaya.
"We've already signed the contract with the Jakarta government to represent them in PON. We can't break the deal," said Febi on his reason for competing in the quadrennial local event.
The Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti) hoped by competing in the Bundesliga both players could carry on the tradition of winning gold medals in the 2002 Asian Games in Pusan, South Korea.
Indonesia has mostly won gold medals ever since it first competed in the Asiad in 1966. Only in 1994, did the national team fail to bring home the gold. Yayuk Basuki added a gold medal in the women's singles in 1998. (yan)