MANILA – After breaking into the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Top 300 doubles rankings last week, Francis Casey Alcantara is set to compete in five tournaments starting with the two-leg Medco Energi International Tennis Championships in Indonesia.
The first leg is scheduled from Oct. 24 to 30 while the second leg will be from Oct. 31 to Nov. 6. The two tournaments have a cash prize of USD25,000 (PHP1.47 million) each and will be played at the Sultan Hotel hard courts in Jakarta.
Alcantara is currently world No. 292. He reached a career-best ranking of No. 257 in 2018.
The 30-year-old player from Cagayan de Oro City teamed up with Pruchya Isaro of Thailand to win the first leg of the Hai Dang Cup in Tay Ninh City, Vietnam three weeks ago to capture his third doubles title.
In the second leg, the Filipino Davis Cupper and partner Nam Hoang Ly of Vietnam lost to Tomohiro Masabayashi of Japan and Chak Lam Coleman of Hong Kong, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 4-10, in the quarterfinal round.
Alcantara claimed his first title this year with Colin Sinclair of Northern Mariana Island at the ITF World Tennis Tour event in Cairo, Egypt in May. He partnered with Ly to win the Hai Dang Cup Week 2 in June.
Last month, Alcantara and Christopher Rungkat were runners-up in two US$50,000 events of the ATP Tour Challenger in Nonthaburi City, Thailand. They bowed to third seeds Benjamin Lock of Zimbabwe and Yuta Shimizu of Japan, 1-6, 3-6, in the first leg and lost to Chung Yunseong of South Korea and Ajeet Rai of Australia, 1-6, 6-7 (6), in the second leg.
Alcantara is expected to lead the Philippine tennis team in the Cambodia Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and Hangzhou Asian Games next year. He won the doubles title at the 2019 Manila SEA Games with Jeson Patrombon.
He became a member of the Davis Cup team in 2005. He is the first Filipino junior Grand Slam champion, achieving the feat when he won the Australian Open doubles title with Cheng-Peng Hsieh of Chinese Taipei in 2009, the same year he reached his highest world ranking at No. 14. (PNA)