Alcantara, pal gun for ATP Challenger crown
Filipino Francis Casey Alcantara and Indonesian partner Christopher Rungkat gun for a historic victory Sunday in the doubles finals of the $75,000 ATP Challenger Philippine Open at Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
The wild cards will face second seeds Johan Brunstrom of Sweden and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark who overcame a tough-fighting pair in Indian Divij Sharan and Austrian Maximilian Neuchrist, 6-3, 6-7 (10-8), 10-7, yesterday.
Brunstrom and Nielsen won in Knoxville Challenger in Kentucky last November. Brunstrom and compatriot Andreas Siljestrom ruled the Bangkok Challenger last week.
“We are having fun and that’s what we’ll do in the finals. I don’t want to put pressure on ourselves,” said the 23-year-old Alcantara, a 2009 Australian Open juniors doubles champion with Taiwan’s Hsieh Cheng-peng.
Philippine Tennis Association chair Jean Henri Lhuillier said Alcantara’s progress to the doubles finals is a big boost for the Philippines whose previous ATP Challenger was 20 years ago in $50,000 meet.
“This will be a big boost for his campaign in the Davis Cup tie against Kuwait,” said Lhuillier.
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