Thai captain Danai Udomchoke is confident that teenager Palaphoom Kovapitukted will get the Kingdom off a good start against the Philippines when the two nations meet in the Davis Cup at the National Tennis Development Centre in Nonthaburi today.
The 19-year-old has been drawn to play the opening rubber of the zonal tie against Filipino No 1 Jeson Patrombon at 10am.
The teenager will be making his fourth appearance in the Cup and only has one win from three matches to date.
Despite Palaphoom’s limited experience, Thai skipper Danai believes the youngster has enough ammunition to draw the first blood for Thailand.
“He will go into the rubber without any pressure,” said Danai, a former Thai No 1. “If he can focus on the game plan and play to his ability, there should be no problem.”
Friday’s programme also features a showdown between Thai No 1 and world No 488 Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul and 19-year-old Alberto Lim, who has won all his three Cup matches.
“Wishaya is a tough player with long experience. He is the favourite to win that rubber,” Danai said.
Despite his side being underdogs, Filipino captain Chris Cuarto hopes to cause an upset and believes 26-year-old Patrombon will post his team’s first point against Palaphoom.
“It’s good that Jeson is playing first – he can give us a good start. Our team is familiar with the Thai players so we know how to play them. It will all depend on who plays better on the day,” Cuarto said.