LENGKONG, AYOBANDUNG.COM -- Since the 1960s, Indonesia has been striving to improve the quality and popularity of tennis, despite facing funding crises and infrastructure problems. The goal of the country towards this sport remains steadfast.
To realize this dream, the Indonesian Tennis Association (PELTI), with the fiery motto "Never Retreat," included Indonesia in the 1961 Davis Cup.
"This was Indonesia's debut in the Davis Cup alongside Morocco and Ecuador," said Dimas Wahyu Indrajaya, a young historian and graduate of Universitas Padjadjaran.
At that time, Indonesia sent four of its best tennis players, namely Tan Liep Tjiauw, Itjas Sumarna, Sugiarto, and Sie Kong Loen.
Unfortunately, Tan Liep Tjiauw and his team were not lucky, as they lost to India 1 - 4 in the quarterfinals of the Asia Zone held in Bandung, West Java, on March 26 - 28, 1961.
Of the five matches played, only Tan Liep Tjiauw was successful in putting up a fight. He managed to defeat Jaidip Mukerjea, a young tennis player 19 years his junior.
Before the 1961 Davis Cup, Tan Liep Tjiauw was already quite well-known in Indonesia during the 1950s. He was short in stature and was nicknamed "Little Tan."
"Tan Liep Tjiauw's name is also famous because he was the first Indonesian to experience the toughness of Wimbledon in 1953," said Dimas.
Tan Liep Tjiauw's achievements in the national and international tennis scene were considered long-lasting. He won several prestigious tournaments, including the Men's Singles at the 1956 Open Malaya Championship.
"Liep Tjiauw is not the Liep Tjiauw of a few years ago, although he still shows glimpses of his former brilliance," wrote Dimas, citing Star Weekly on the Memori Olahraga Instagram account.