Tennis: Francis Casey Alcantara cops New Delhi doubles title with Thai partner

Rosy Mina

Posted at Mar 18 2023 09:33 PM

Francis Casey Alcantara of the Philippines and Pruchya Isaro of Thailand. Photo courtesy of Francis Casey Alcantara on Instagram
The 2023 M25 New Delhi champions: Francis Casey Alcantara of the Philippines and Pruchya Isaro of Thailand. Photo courtesy of Francis Casey Alcantara on Instagram. 

MANILA – At the M25 New Delhi tournament in India, Francis Casey Alcantara of the Philippines and Pruchya Isaro of Thailand ruled the doubles final on Saturday to clinch their second title together on the ITF Men’s World Tennis Tour.

Alcantara and Isaro defeated Indians Parikshit Somani and Manish Sureshkumar, 6-2, 6-4, at Court 2 of the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium.

The M25 New Delhi championship is Alcantara’s sixth ITF men’s doubles crown and 18th professional title overall.

Alcantara and Isaro, the M25 Tay Ninh doubles titlists in 2022, broke serve twice for a 4-1 lead, with the Filipino sealing the fifth game with a forehand volley crosscourt winner.

After an exchange of easy service holds, the Filipino-Thai pair served out the first set, 6-2, courtesy of a winning forehand approach shot by Alcantara. 

Somani and Sureshkumar bounced back in the second set by forcing the fourth game into a deciding point. They broke serve, 3-1, via a forehand service return down the line.

The Indian duo fought on by saving three break points to advance to 4-1, and the Filipino-Thai tandem responded with a service hold to trail at 2-4.

At 30-30 in the seventh game, rain briefly interrupted play. After which, Alcantara and Isaro recovered to level the competition with the home bets, 4-4.

A double fault allowed Alcantara and Isaro to break again and serve for the match at 5-4, and they secured the victory at 40-30 with an Alcantara forehand volley winner. 

En route to the final, Alcantara and Isaro caused an upset over No. 3 seeds Grigoriy Lomakin of Kazakhstan and Vishnu Vardhan of India, 6-4, 7-6(5), in the first round.

They went on to score come-from-behind victories over Indians Tushar Madan and Karan Singh in the quarterfinals, 4-6, 6-2, 10-7, and South Koreans Yunseok Jang and Woobin Shin in the semifinals, 6-7(3), 6-2, 10-6.

The M25 New Delhi crown is Alcantara’s first title of the season, and it helps boost his goal of playing in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“So this year is gonna be a big year for me talaga. I wanna continue playing and play as much as possible just to get to 150 or 160 in the world. And then hopefully, by the start of next year, I can start playing Challengers early next year and then qualify for the Olympics,” Alcantara told ABS-CBN News last month during the Unified Tennis Philippines (UTP) recognition and coffee-table book launch. 

UTP hailed Alcantara for winning three ITF men’s doubles titles last season, and he was recognized along with 2022 US Open Juniors singles winner Alex Eala and 10-time PCA Open champion Johnny Arcilla. 

The 31-year-old Alcantara is the ATP Doubles World No. 335 with a career-best ranking of 257th in 2018.

The Pepperdine University tennis scholar alum won the Australian Open junior boys’ doubles championship in 2009 and Southeast Asian Games men’s doubles gold medal in 2019.


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