Junior netter Otico shines in ITF tilt anew

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Top seed John Bryan Decasa Otico copped his second straight title after ruling the 2017 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Championships Week 2 boys’ singles at the National Tennis Development Center in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

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The 18-year-old Filipino netter proved too much against Japanese Keisuke Saitoh, scoring an easy 6-0, 6-1 win in the championship round that lasted for less than an hour.

Otico completed a back-to-back title romp in the tournament after winning the Week 1 crown of the 2017 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Championships two weeks ago.

Otico reached the finals by thumping Natthasith Kunsawan of Thailand (6-4, 2-6, 6-3) in the semifinals of the Grade Four tournament.

He also clobbered Taiyo Hirano of Japan in the second round, 6-2, 6-1; Michael Mathayomchano of Thailand in the third round, 6-4, 6-4; and Akanit Pumjit of Thailand in the quarterfinals, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Otico had an opening-round bye.

Overall, Otico has four titles this year.

He topped the singles event of the Hong Kong ITF Junior Tennis Tournament in January and the doubles category of the China ITF Junior Championships in Beijing in May.

“It was a great two weeks for us here. He played really well all throughout the tournament. He was consistent and I am happy to get good results here,” said Otico’s coach Jun Toledo, the same person who trained 2009 Australian Open juniors doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara.

With his double victory, Otico is expected to improve his ITF juniors ranking.

At present, he is ranked 132nd in the world – a huge improvement from his 208th before the start of the season.

EMIL C. NOGUERA

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