MANILA — Francis Casey Alcantara lost his first-round match to Australian Benjamin Mitchell in the men’s singles of the USD25,000 Towoomba International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures event in Queensland, Australia on Wednesday.
According to the tournament results on the ITF Men’s Circuit website, Alcantara absorbed a 3-6, 1-6 setback from Mitchell in their match played at the Toowoomba Regional Tennis Center hard court.
Meanwhile, Alcantara and his Dutch partner, Sem Verbeek, likewise bowed out of the doubles competition, losing to Australians Jason Kubler and Scott Puodziunas, 3-6, 5-7.
Verbeek, who entered the main draw as a qualifier, has remained in the tournament after beating Australian Matthew Romios, 6-4, 6-1, in the singles category.
Also winning their first-round matches were fourth seed Chinese Li Zhe and American Nathan Pasha.
Li defeated Australian wild card Lucas Vuradin, 6-2, 6-4, to arrange a second-round duel with Australian Gavin Van Peperzeel, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over his compatriot, Jack Swindells.
Pasha, on the other hand, outclassed Australian Daniel Nolan, 6-1, 6-2, to advance to the next round against Australian Andrew Harris, who scored a 7-6 (6), 2-6, 7-5 victory over fellow Australian Harry Bourchier.
From Toowoomba, Alcantara will proceed to Cairns for another USD25,000 tournament scheduled on October 9-15 at the Cairns International Tennis Center.
Alcantara, a member of the Philippine Davis Cup team, has captured four doubles titles this year. He won in Hong Kong last June 24 and swept the three-leg Singapore Futures with Verbeek before that.
His four doubles titles gave him a career-best doubles ranking of No. 364. He is currently No. 763 in the singles rankings.
Alcantara, whose four-week trip is sponsored by Peugeot Philippines, has played 10 consecutive tournaments before the SEA Games in Malaysia last month.
Philippine Davis Cup team captain Karl Santamaria has been Alcantara’s personal coach since August last year.
Santamaria gave the University of Santo Tomas tennis team many titles in the UAAP before he moved to the National University, which has won four consecutive titles. PNA-northboundasia.com