Tennis: Alcantara, Rungkat fail in Bangkok Open final

MANILA — Filipino Francis Casey Alcantara and Indonesia’s Christopher Rungkat earned their second straight runners-up finish in Thailand with a 1-6, 6-7 (6) loss in Saturday’s Bangkok Open final.

Alcantara and Rungkat suffered a 5-0 deficit to South Korea’s Yunseong Chung and New Zealand’s Ajeet Rai before holding serve 5-1 by forcing a backhand approach shot error.

Chung and Rai served out the first set 6-1 with a forehand crosscourt volley winner.

The Filipino-Indonesian duo rebounded 4-1 in the second set, with Rungkat sealing game five with a stunning forehand winner.

Rungkat, the 2018 Asian Games mixed doubles gold medalist and Southeast Asian Games (SEA) gold medalist in singles, doubles and mixed doubles, then requested a short medical time-out.

When play resumed, they scored a break point thanks to a backhand crosscourt volley winner from 2019 SEA Games gold medalist doubles Alcantara.

They broke serve to serve 5-1 for the set, but Chung and Rai broke back with a forehand volley winner.

As Alcantara and Rungkat served for the second time at 5-3 for the set, Chung and Rai broke again thanks to a long backhand from Alcantara.

They equalized 6-6 and played in a tiebreak where Chung and Rai forged a 4-2 lead to be 6-4 after Rungkat’s long backhand.

Alcantara and Rungkat forced two errors to equalize at 6-6 until Chung and Rai mini-breaks in the 13th point to earn a match point.

Chung and Rai finished 7-6 (6) with a backhand crosscourt volley winner.

Last week Alcantara and Rungkat fell in the final of the Bangkok Open 2 to 3rd seeded Benjamin Lock of Zimbabwe and Yuta Shimizu of Japan.

This week’s Bangkok Open 3 saw rematches see them defeat top-seeded brothers Lock and Courtney John Lock 4-6 6-3 10-5 and 4-seeded Shimizu and Anirudh Chandrasekar of India in the quarterfinals defeated the semifinals, 6-1, 6-4.

They received an acquittal from French team Arthur Cazaux and Kyrian Jacquet in the first round of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger Tour event.

Alcantara, number 445 in the ATP World Doubles Championship, has won two International Tennis Federation doubles titles this year at M15 Tay Ninh in Vietnam and M25 Cairo in Egypt.

The 30-year-old native of Cagayan de Oro, who became the first Philippine Grand Slam champion at the Australian Open in boys’ doubles in 2009, reached a career-best ATP doubles in 2018 with world ranking 257.


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