Huey sees high hopes in grand slam doubles

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star

LAPU LAPU CITY, Cebu, Philippines – Don’t be surprised if Fil-Am Treat Conrad Huey wins a Grand Slam doubles title one day.

Fresh from a breakthrough quarterfinal performance in the US Open in New York last week, Huey, 28, thinks he and partner Dominic Inglot of Great Britain have what it takes to win a Grand Slam event if not next year, at least in the near future.

“Yes, for sure that’s definitely one of my goals, hopefully winning one if not more Grand Slams but I got to continue to play better, keep playing more and more tournaments and raise my level, but yes last week playing the quarterfinals was good,” said Huey.

Huey was playing at press time in the doubles with either Francis Casey Alcantara or fellow Fil-Am Ruben Gonzales for Cebuana Lhuillier-Phl against New Zealand in the Asia-Oceania Zone Davis Cup Group II promotional tie at the Plantation Bay Resorts and Spa here.

Late last night, Johnny Arcilla, playing his 23rd Davis Cup match and 30th tie, lost to Kiwi No. 1 Jose Statham, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. The setback sent the Filipinos on the brink of losing their chance of barging into Group I with a 0-2 (win-loss) deficit.

“I think I’m definitely still young, I think I can go further and win semis, finals and hopefully win one or two Grand Slams if not more,” he added.

Huey recalled playing bad in that 7-5, 6-3 quarters defeat to World doubles No. 9 Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil.

“It wasn’t a great match, it was a bit of windy, they played well, had few chances early but didn’t get it, it was one of those days. We didn’t bring our A-game, they played a little bit better,” said Huey, whose Filipino mother Manina San Pedro-Huey is a United Nations consultant.

Huey though admitted he relished their win over Spanish Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, who are ranked third in the world as a pair, 7-6 (2), 6-0. The victory matched Beeyong Sison’s achievement when he teamed up with Swiss Markus Guenthardt to reach the French Open quarters in 1981.

“We had a great win after the round-of 16, the No. 3 team in the world, in quarters we played No. 9 in the world,” he said.

The Huey-Inglot duo’s solid showing can be attributed to their partnership that started two years ago.

“Inglot and I played full-time the last two years or so. I played with (Poland’s Jerzy) Janowicz for a couple of tournaments that’s all. Stopped playing singles two years ago or so I focused more on playing doubles to play in bigger tournaments,” he said.

And Huey knows they’re on their way to the top.

“We are definitely up and coming I think we are No. 13 in the world, a long way to go, there are a lot of great players ahead of us. We’ve gotten better the last two years. We played 28-29 weeks, this year we are already 25 weeks or so,” he said.

After the Davis Cup, Huey and Gonzales are scheduled to play in the ATP Challenge in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and will re-unite with Inglot in tournaments in Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Meanwhile, four Filipino netters – Arcilla, Johhny Jose, Raymond Deyro and the late Felicisimo Ampon – were honored with Commitment Awards from the International Tennis Federation for playing for flag and country for at least 20 Davis Cup ties last night.

Arcilla and Jose personally received their awards while a grandson of Ampon took the plaque in behalf of his grandfather. Deyro didn’t make the ceremony.


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