Gonzales, pal cop title in Bucharest
Ruben Gonzales has finally proven to himself that there is a career playing doubles.
The Philippine national team mainstay’s partnership with American Hunter Johnson hit pay dirt late Saturday as they captured the Association of Tennis Professionals Challenger’s Trofeul Tiriac-Nastase Championships in Bucharest, his first title since going into doubles competition full-time.
“Yes, been focused mostly on doubles the last few years and it’s great to see all my focus and hard work pay off,” the 36-year-old Gonzales told the Inquirer. “Yeah, it’s been a long road to get here with my partner.”
Gonzales and Johnson finally nailed their first title after reaching five semifinals in as many weeks, beating German Maximillian Marterer and Czech Lukas Rosol, 1-6, 6-2, (10-3) in the final of the $250,000 tournament.
As third seeds, the partners drubbed wildcards Alexandru Jecan and Dan Alexandru Tomescu of Romania, 6-4, 7-6(4), in the semifinals.
“I honestly felt it was a matter of time before we break through,” added Gonzales, two-time Southeast Asian Games silver winner. “We have been working extremely hard so it feels amazing for that hard work to come to fruition.”
Now ranked 199th in the world in doubles, Gonzales last won a doubles competition in 2019 in Las Vegas with Ruan Roelofse of South Africa.
Gonzales and Johnson will try to ride the crest of their triumph when they compete in another Challenger meet in Romania. INQ
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