Tue, 08 Feb 2000

Indonesia Davis Cup team intact for next round

JAKARTA (JP): The Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti) will likely retain the current national Davis Cup team after its victory over the Philippines in the first round of the Asia Oceania Zone Group II match last week.

The Pelti official in charge of athlete development, Sudjiono Timan, told a press conference on Monday that the winning team members would not be replaced unless one of them was injured or ill.

"The team members will remain the same as long as they are ready to fight. Besides, we have named four players and two substitutes for the Davis Cup," he said.

The team members are Suwandi, Febi Widhiyanto, Hendri Susilo Pramono and Edy Kusdaryanto with Sebastian Da Costa and Dede Suhendar Dinata as substitutes.

Coach Dedy Prasetyo said that the remaining five weeks would be used to increase players' physical fitness and improve their technical skills.

"The warming up in three futures in India brought advantages for us. Many foreign players have applied new technical skills which are completely new for us. Maybe our players will need about one year to be able to pick up the skills," he said.

Dedy said the players will compete in two future tournaments in the capital and hopefully could compete in two more future tournaments in Asia.

Suwandi said his experience in three future tournaments in India mentally helped him to deal with the pressure of competing as the first singles in the first day.

"I was downed 2-4 in the first set, but I could overcome the pressure and I fought hard to win the first set. The next sets were much easier. It's all because of the warming up in India," he said.

Earlier, Pelti secretary general, Soegeng Sarjadi, declined to finance athletes' expenses in those tournaments saying that their respective clubs should finance the athletes.

Indonesia beat the Philippines 4-1 in a three-day match in Manila. On the first day, Suwandi beat Johnny Arcilla 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 and Febi defeated Adelo Abadia 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. In the doubles, Hendri Susilo Pramono and Edy Kusdaryanto gave the country a 3-0 win after beating Arcilla and Abadia 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 5-7, 6- 1. On the reversed singles, Febi lost to Arcilla 0-6, 6-3, 4-6, while Suwandi won 6-4, 6-1 over Rolando Ruel Jr.

Indonesia will face Malaysia and most likely field the players Selvam Veerasingam, Hazuan Hizan and Vasutheven Ortchuan. Malaysia upset Iran 3-2 in Kuala Lumpur.

Dedy said his players had an equal chance against Malaysia.

"We have an advantage as a host with support from local tennis lovers," he said, adding that he still had no idea on which surface Indonesia would meet Malaysia in the Senayan Tennis Complex.

Sudjiono said the prize money earned by Indonesia would be useful to groom athletes in tournaments before competing against Malaysia from April 4 to April 6.

"If the team still needs more money, it's Pelti's task to provide funds. It's hard for clubs to finance their athletes abroad as there are no more active clubs which can afford to do so," he said. (yan)