Top seed Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain got over his finals jitters in the first set and stormed through the second against third pick Kento Takeuchi of Japan, 7-6 (4), 6-4, to clinch the singles title in the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Ce-buana Lhuillier ITF Men’s Futures 2 on Sunday at the PCA clay courts in Paco, Manila.
Hitting a spate of double faults in a match that took almost two hours, Lopez-Perez was able to revive his game with killer baseline attack and better court coverage.
“I lost my confidence in the first set that resulted to a close game. But I just decided to play my game and run. He’s [Takeuchi] really good, he also likes to fight until the last point but I think he likes hard court better than clay court,” said Lopez-Perez, who took home his second ITF title for the year. The first was in Chandigarh, India in March.
It was a sweet victory for the 24-year-old Spaniard, who was ousted by Takeuchi in the semifinals of the Manila ITF Men’s Futures 1 two weekends ago via another grueling match, 6-2, 1-6, 4-6.
Aside from the prestigious crown, Lopez-Perez also bagged $2,160 while Takeuchi settled for the runner-up purse of $1,272 in the tournament supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, The Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
Earlier, local standouts Francis Casey Alcantara and eight-time PCA Open titlist Johnny Arcilla took home the doubles crown in the event sponsored by Whilpool/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.
The quick-fire tandem of Alcantara and Arcilla pulled a stunning upset against top seeds Katsuki Nagao and Hiromasa Oku of Japan, 6-2, 6-2.
Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier couldn’t have been happier at the turnout of the Manila ITF Men’s Futures 2, promising his unyielding support for the next edition of the tournament.
“This is just fantastic. To see our Filipino players do well with Francis and Johnny even winning the doubles title is more than we could ever ask for. Jeson is also making a name for himself in the singles event. That is why I look forward to supporting more tournaments of this magnitude in our quest to help our Filipino players improve their skills and world rankings,” said Lhuillier.