Gonzales, Thornley rule Tampere Open doubles
Ruben Gonzales partnered with Briton Sean Thornley to capture his first ever ATP Challenger title by winning the men’s doubles of the Tampere Open last week in Finland.
Gonzales, the 28-year-old mainstay of the Philippine team, worked with 25-year-old Thornley to score a hard-fought 6-7 (7-5), 7-6 (12-10) (10-8) triumph over Elias Ymer of Sweden and Anton Zaitsev of Russia in the final of the outdoor event on clay.
And while Gonzales and Thornley encountered tall odds in the final against the pair which downed top seeds Jesse Huta Galung of Netherlands and Andreas Siljestrom of Sweden, 5-7, 6-2 (10-8), in the semifinals, they got an unexpected lift by drawing two walkover wins along the way.
In the second round, Gonzales and Thornly dumped Belgians Germain Giguonon and eventual singles champ David Goffin, 6-2, 6-3.
It was a big boost for Gonzales who is slowly focusing to doubles where he reached a career high ranking of 152 last February. He is expected to climb up again from his current 204th ranking.
Gonzales is expected to play a major role when he combines with Treat Huey in the men’s doubles of the Incheon Asian Games in September.
An alumni of the University of Illinois, Gonzales’ exploits were heralded in the website fightingillini.com.
“This is a well deserved win for Ruben but he still has way bigger goals on his mind,” Illinois associate head coach Marcos Asse was quoted by the site. “There is much more in store for him.” Marc Anthony Reyes
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