|Alcantara in action at the Futures event in Toowamba, Australia|
By Ariel Clarito
MANILA--The Philippines’s top tennis player Francis Casey Alcantara sees action anew in the international circuit by embarking on a grueling 4-tournament schedule in Australia this October.
On the comeback trail after a shoulder injury sidelined him for the entire month of September, Alcantara seemed to still be groping for form as he lost his first round matches in both singles and doubles in the Australia F6 in Toowoomba.
He seeks to get back on track when he joins the US$25,000 Futures event in Cairns. He then steps up his campaign when he plays in the US$75,000 ATP Challenger Tour in Traralgon and Canberra during the latter part of the month.
The Challenger Tour is the 2nd highest level of competition in tennis next only to the ATP World Tour and offers more ranking points and prize money compared to the Futures series.
Alcantara has been on an upswing this year after a string of impressive performances catapulted him to career-high ATP rankings.
He is now ranked 766th in the world in singles, the highest among all Filipinos. In doubles, Alcantara has been on a tear, winning five International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures events in 2017, the most international titles won in a year by a Filipino since Treat Huey bagged seven titles in 2011.
Alcantara is now ranked 359th in the world in doubles, the third highest among Filipinos next to Huey who is 67th and Ruben Gonzales who is at 271st.
In the recent Kuala Lumpur SouthEast Asian Games, Alcantara teamed up with Gonzales to win the silver in the Men’s Doubles competition.
Alcantara is in the main draw of the singles competition of the Cairns Futures event.
In the doubles, he will be teaming up anew with Sem Verbeek of Netherlands. Alcantara won three of his Futures titles this year with Verbeek as his partner.
Alcantara will hope to rekindle his success in the country where he won 2009 Australian Open Junior’s Doubles Championship.
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