Tennis

Filipino tennis stalwarts bag international doubles titles

Ariel Ian Clarito
Filipino tennis stalwarts bag international doubles titles

CHAMPS. Ruben Gonzales (left) and Treat Huey celebrate their doubles title romp.

Unified Tennis Philippines

Philippine tennis veterans Treat Huey, Ruben Gonzales, and Francis Casey Alcantara, who will all see action for the country in the 2022 SEA Games, capture international crowns over the weekend

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s top tennis players showed readiness to continue their Southeast Asian dominance by reigning supreme in two international competitions this weekend. 

Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales, the 2019 SEA Games men’s doubles silver medalists, endured some scary moments before clinching the championship of the ATP Savannah Challenger in the US on Saturday, April 30 (Sunday, May 1, Manila time). 

In Egypt, Filipino Francis Casey Alcantara, the 2019 SEA Games doubles gold medalist, teamed up with Colin Sinclair of the Northern Marianas Islands to rule the $25,000 ITF M25 Cairo on Saturday at the Al-Solaumaneyah Tennis Center.

Huey, Gonzales, and Alcantara will all see action for the Philippines in the Vietnam SEA Games this May.

The Filipino Huey-Gonzales tandem defeated Zhizhen Zhang of China and Tung-Lin Wu of Chinese-Taipei in two gripping sets, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, in the final of the $53,000-tournament at the Landings Club in Savannah, Georgia.

It’s the second ATP Challenger title for the year for Huey after he won last March the Arizona Tennis Classic. He currently ranks 138th in the world doubles ranking after ranking as high as 18th when he made the Wimbledon doubles semifinals a few years back. 

Gonzales copped his first ATP Challenger trophy for 2022. The Savannah Challenger is also the first ATP Challenger finals appearance for the year for Gonzales, a doubles silver medalist in the last three editions of the SEA Games.

Alcantara and Sinclair, meanwhile, handily prevailed in straight sets over Denis Klok and Ilya Rudiokov of Russia, 6-3, 6-3, in the final.

The winning tandem briefly engaged in a close battle against their Russian rivals in the opening set which was tied until the sixth game at 3-3. 

The pivotal point came in the eighth game when Alcantara and Sinclair broke serve for the second time to go up 5-3 before holding serve to claim the first set. They carried over their momentum to the second set where they broke serve twice to close out the match. 

Alcantara and Sinclair finished runner-up in a $15,000 ITF event in Egypt last week where they lost in the finals to Rudiokov and Argentinian Lorenzo Joaquin Rodriguez.

This is Alcantara’s first international title for the year after finishing runner-up in three previous ITF events. – Rappler.com