Filipino netter Francis Alcantara shifts his focus on the singles event after suffering a heart-breaking loss in the doubles play of the 2017 International Tennis Federation (ITF) China Futures 14 being held at the Tianjin International Tennis Center in Tianjin, China.
Alcantara and Japanese partner Shintara Imai faltered against unheralded Chinese tandem Te Rigee and Wu Yibing, 6-3, 4-6, 10-12, in the quarterfinals.
“We fell short down the stretch. They’re (Chinese duo) just too strong and we couldn’t convert,” said the 25-year old Alcantara, a former Australian Open junior doubles champion.
Alcantara guns for a quarterfinals seat in singles when he battles Issei Okamura of Japan in the second round.
“Just like in my previous tournaments, I’ll just take in one game at a time. The field is strong and you really need to focus each game and I’m hoping to get better results,” Alcantara stressed.
This season, Alcantara won five titles and a couple of runner-up finishes—all in doubles.
He ruled the Egypt Future 8 in Sharm El Sheikh in March (with Benjamin Lock of Zimbabwe), Singapore Futures 1 in May (with Sem Verbeek of the Netherlands), Singapore Futures 2 in May (with Verbeek), Singapore Futures 3 in June (with Verbeek), and Hong Kong Futures 1 in June (with Karunuday Singh of India).
Alcantara finished second in the Bahrain Futures 1 in Manama in March (with Lock) and China Futures 12 in Shenzhen early this month (with Karunuday).
EMIL C. NOGUERA