Alcantara, partner advance in ITF China Futures 14

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Former Australian Open junior doubles champion Francis Alcantara barged into the quarterfinals of the 2017 International Tennis Federation (ITF) China Futures 14 being held at the Tianjin International Tennis Center in Tianjin, China.

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Alcantara and new partner Shintara Imai of Japan needed less than an hour to overpower Chinese wild cards Xi Qi and Zhou Cheng Hao in the opening round, 6-3, 6-4.

Francis Casey Alcantara FILE PHOTO

The second-seeded pair of Alcantara and Imai will be up against another Chinese tandem Te Rigee and Wu Yibing, a 6-4, 6-3 winner over unheralded Sjyler Butts and Chun Hun Wong of Hong Kong.

Alcantara also cruised into the next round of the singles competition.

The 25-year old Cagayan de Oro City pride outclassed qualifier Zheng Yili of China in the first round.

Alcantara will be playing Issei Okamura of Japan who stunned his seventh seed compatriot Kento Takeuchi in the other first-round game, 6-2, 6-2.

Alcantara aims to surpass is semifinal finish in doubles and quarterfinal exploits in the ITF China Futures 13 last week.

He joined forces with Indian Karunuday Singh in doubles but lost to Wishaya Trongchaeroenchaikul of Thailand and Hung Jui-Chen of Taiwan, 3-6, 6-3, 5-10, in the Final Four.

In singles, Alcantara opted to retire against Zhang Zhizhen of China in the quarters because of minor injury. The score was 3-6, 2-4 when the game was stopped.

Alcantara is now ranked 379th in the doubles world ranking, a huge jump from his 470th place at the start of the season.

During his junior days, he reached as high as No. 14 in the world.

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