No match-fixing in Davis Cup, assures official

THERE WON’T be any match-fixing at this weekend’s Davis Cup tie.

This was the assurance of International Tennis Federation supervisor Ali Katebi of Iran yesterday for the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippines Group 2 tie against Kuwait at Valle Verde Country Club.

He was addressing the issue that rocked the sport early this year.

The Philippines has won both previous matches against Kuwait, including a 5-0 result away.

“My job is to make sure everything is as correct as possible,” said Katebi who considered the Philippines as one of his “good assignments.”

“Of course, as for the players we will check and if there’s anything doubtful we will take action,” he added. “But for officiating it’s very rare these cases happened in so many years I have been here. And they were not match-fixing but some errors.”

Team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier said he is confident the team will do well in the tie slated March 4 to 6.

“I think we have assembled the strongest team in recent years,” he said. “It’s a great combination of experience and youth.”

Former world No. 9 in juniors and 2010 Australian Open juniors singles quarterfinalist Jeson Patrombon and 2009 Australian Open boys doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara will banner the Philippine team.

Providing support are veterans World No. 30 in doubles Treat Huey and World No. 406 in doubles Ruben Gonzales.

Karl Santamaria will debut as non-playing captain for the country.

They will go up against Kuwait’s top player Mohammad Gharreb who will try to lead Abdulrhaman Alawadhi, Abdulhamid Mubarak and Abdulhameed Alshatti.

Nonplaying captain is Adel Al Shatti.

Drawing of lots will be tomorrow and the opening singles will be held on Friday.