Top seed John Bryan Decasa Otico survived unheralded Natthasith Kunsawan of Thailand, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, to advance to the championship round of the 2017 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Championships Week 2 boys’ singles being held at the National Tennis Development Center in Nonthaburi, Thailand.
The-18-year-old Otico bucked a second-set lapse to overcome the strong challenge of Thai netter in their match that lasted for less than two hours and secure his second finals appearance in the Grade Four tournament.
“We took it one game at a time. It’s his second straight final appearance here in Thailand and we’re hoping to make it two in a row. I just told him to just stay focused on the game,” said veteran mentor Jun Toledo, who’s handling the training program of Otico.
Toledo also trained former junior campaigner Francis Casey Alcantara, who ruled the 2009 Australian Open juniors doubles champion with Taiwanese Hsieh Cheng-Peng.
Otico sealed a championship duel with Keisuke Saitoh of Japan, a 7-6 (3) 6-2 winner over compatriot Shunsuke Mitsui.
The Filipino netter guns for his second straight title and fourth overall this year.
On Sunday, Otico bagged the singles event of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Championships Week 1 at the same venue.
Besides his Week 1 crown, Otico pocketed the singles crown of the Hong Kong ITF Junior Tennis Tournament in Hong Kong in January and the doubles title with Japanese Seito Watanabe in the China ITF Junior Championships in Beijing in May.
In doubles, Otico and Arthur Craig Pantino, the top-seeded pair, suffered a 1-6, 4-6 loss to fourth pick Indian tandem Dev Javia and Sacchitt Sharrma.