Tennis: After Japan Defeat, Indonesia Sets Sights on Playoff With India
Indonesia’s beleaguered Davis Cup side is turning its attention to its relegation tie against India that will go a long to determining whether it gets to stay in top regional grouping next year.
Indonesia will play India in the South Asian nation after both countries lost their Asia/Oceania Group I ties over the weekend. The winner of the April 5-7 relegation playoff will remain in the group, but the loser will have just one last chance to avoid being demoted to Group II.
India has a 5-0 record against Indonesia dating back to 1961, and Bonit Wiryawan, the head coach of the Indonesian squad, told the Jakarta Globe the Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti) needs to begin preparations immediately if it is to fare better in the next round.
“We hope we can win against India this time to stay in the group,” Bonit said. “The chance is there.”
Indonesia on the weekend lost 5-0 to Japan in their tie at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo . Bonit conceded the one-sided defeat was unfortunate, but it wasn’t totally unexpected. He praised his charges by playing at their best.
“[The players] played good enough actually, but Japan has way better players with higher world rankings,” Bonit said. “They are more experienced than our players. And almost all teams in Group I have better ranking.”
The first match set the tone, with Indonesia’s top player, Christopher Rungkat, falling to Japan’s Tatsuma Ito. Rungkat, ranked 252 in the world, lost in straight sets to Ito, the world number 67.
The second contest was even worse for Indonesia, with Wisnu Adi Nugroho, ranked 881, taking only one game against Go Soeda, ranked 84.
Indonesia’s men’s doubles team put up a tougher fight, with Christopher and teammate Elbert Sie taking on Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama, but the Indonesians still lost in a five-set match.
Japan’s domination in the first three matches meant the next two contests would be played to two sets instead of three. But the result was the same for Indonesia, as Christopher lost to Yuichi Sugita, ranked 133, and Wisnu fell to Uchiyama.
India fared little better in its weekend tie, winning just one of the five matches against South Korea.