Australian Open juniors doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara stunned fifth seed Vinayak Sharma Kaza of India, 6-2, 7-6 (3), to advance to the second round of the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier ITF Men’s Futures 2 on Wednesday at the PCA clay courts in Paco, Manila.
The 23-year-old Alcantara fired five aces including three in the second set to take the match that lasted for one hour and 16 minutes. “I lost my focus early in the second set but I was able to get my groove back, stayed patient each and every point,” said Alcantara, who also made it into the second round of the ITF Men’s Futures 1 last week.
Alcantara arranged a second-round meeting with Taiwanese Liang Wen-Chun, a 6-2, 7-5 winner over Ren Nakamura of Japan.
The win was a big sigh of relief for Filipino fans after local big guns Elbert Anasta and Bryan Otico suffered disappointing losses to their respective Japanese rivals in the tournament supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, The Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
Anasta fell short against sixth seed Makoto Ochi, 7-6 (6), 6-2, while Otico couldn’t find a way to get past Soichiro Moritani, 6-2, 6-4.
Anasta and Otico bid adieu to their ITF campaigns along with Patrick John Tierro and Rolando Ruel, who also fell victims to their corresponding foes two days ago.
It was a double victory for Alcantara, who, along with his formidable partner Johnny Arcilla, managed to outclass Jeson Patrombon and Yu Cheng-Yu of Chinese-Taipei, 6-2, 6-2, to advance into the quarterfinals in the event supported by Whirlpool/Fujidenzo, Broadway Motor Sales Corp. Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines, Tyrecorp Incorporated, Pearl Garden Hotel, Metro Global Holdings Corporation, Avida, PVL Restaurant, Mary Grace Foods, Inc., Seno Hardware and Wire Rope Corporation.
“I’m happy that our players are gaining valuable experience here. Everyone needs to experience this stiff competition to know what areas of their game they need to improve.
Jeson Patrombon looked good in his win and I hope he would go deep into the tournament,” said Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier. “The Arcilla-Alcantara tandem is doing really well in doubles competition for the second straight week. This experience will stand them in good stead in our Davis Cup campaign next year.”
The explosive Alcantara-Arcilla tandem awaits the winners between Anasta and Tierro, Kaza and Kunal Anand of India.
A total of $15,000 US dollars is up for grabs with the champ getting $2,160 while the runner-up takes home $1,272.
In other results, third seed Kento Takeuchi of Japan demolished Lin Hsin of Taiwan, 6-4, 6-0, while No. 8 Yu Cheng-Yu of Taiwan overwhelmed Lin Wei-De also from Taiwan, 6-3, 6-3.
The singles matches will start at 11 a.m.