There was a brief exchange in which Alberto Lim Jr. worked out his Davis Cup moment. He held the serve in the first game of the second set and threatened to dig out of a 0-40 hole the next. He shot a temporary shot past Stefanos Tsitsipas and then – based on a newly discovered boldness financed by a crowd rooted in him – tinkered a feather-light drop on the net after stranding number 6 in the world at the baseline .
But just as the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) was getting loud, Tsitsipas detonated an ace that ended the game 1-1. From this point on, everything fell silent for the Philippines.
The 6-foot-4 Tsitsipas won the next five games for a 6-2, 6-1 win over Lim to underscore the talent differences between the two countries playing their draw under a new home game. Away format.
Tsitsipas & # 39; younger brother Petros also gave many games to Jeson Patrombon. His 6-2, 6-1 win narrowed Greece's path to a 2-0 lead.
No sweat for the visitors. Only figuratively, measured by the way Stefanos' drenched shirt stuck to his chiseled six-pack in the roasting pit.
"The place was like a sauna, I won't lie to you," said Stefanos. "But at least I have good cardio."
Translated: Despite all the difficulties in the Philippines, it was just another training session for the Tsitsipas siblings.
However, Stefanos praised Lim and said the Filipino star put me in rally situations where I really had to work to win the points.
"He played well," added Stefanos, but felt that Lim was "very nervous" and only "slightly improved" in the second set.
The audience was grateful for the quality that the Greeks showed when they bullied 21-year-old Stefanos after the game for selfies.
And the superstar was courteous.
"Please wait, we'll have a signing session later. I promise everyone's turn," said Stefanos to the crowd in the PCA's extensive lanai area.
However, it could be the last time that the crowd will see Stefanos with a bat.
The Philippines' last hope is for Ruben Gonzales and Francis Casey Alcantara, who will try to keep the campaign alive when they face Petros and Markos Kalovelonis in doubles on Saturday.
EDITORS & # 39; PICK
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