Filipinos around the world applaud Alcantara

By RONNIE NATHANIELSZ

Posted at Feb 03 2009 07:51 PM | Updated as of Feb 04 2009 04:10 AM

Hundreds of Filipinos from around the world have applauded Francis Casey “Nino” Alcantara for his superb feat in winning the Australian Open Junior Boys doubles title with Chinese-Taipei partner Cheng Peng Hsieh.

The seventh seeds defeated the fancied duo of Russia’s Mikhal Biryukov and Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama in straight sets 6-4/6-2.

Alcantara’s coach Jun Toledo was an outstanding Davis Cup doubles player and has always shown great confidence in the future of the simple lad from Cagayan De Oro City. Alcantara is the first Filipino to win a grand slam tennis title.

According to Randy Villanueva of the Philippine Tennis Association, Alcantara is expected to compete in the Asian circuit in March.

This was confirmed by passionate tennis official Ajay Pathak, who for years has handled the Asian juniors. The officials added that he will include Alcantara in the ITF team that will go to Europe and compete in Wimbledon, the French Open and all the other major juniors events.

A staunch believer in Alcantara, Pathak said the youngster is “a fine all-round player but needs more upper body strength and a few more inches in height.”

Pathak said he hopes that with the big doubles title win Alcantara “doesn’t feel he’s only a doubles player” because, according to Pathak he thinks he’ll “even win a singles title.”

Among the email messages sent to this writer was one from J. Austin in the US who said “a big hurrah for Nino. We’re proud of young and Peng. Keep it up.”

Another sender from the US identified as A Felix “Kudos Francis we’ve got the next Feliicissimo Ampon. Mabuhay ka!”

Maritess B from Poland wrote “Mabuhay kabayan. Congrats to both of you. Indeed a memorable experience”.

Tim from Reno, Nevada said “Go Francis, keep up the fantastic job. Just believe in yourself and know that there are people elsewhere cheering for you. You make us proud. Hurrah from Reno.”