MANILA — Francis Casey Alcantara is scheduled to leave for Australia to compete in four Futures tournaments.
Alcantara’s four-week trip will cover USD25,000 events in Alice Springs (Sept. 18-24), Brisbane (Sept. 25-Oct. 1), Toowomba (Oct. 2-8) and Cairns (Oct. 9-15).
All four tournaments are in the International Tennis Federation pro circuit calendar.
Alcantara, a member of the Philippine Davis Cup team, said he is hoping to get more points to boost his world rankings.
“I hope to get more points so I can improve my world ranking,” said the 25-year-old player from Cagayan de Oro City, in an interview on Thursday.
Alcantara has captured four doubles titles this year. He won in Hong Kong last June 24 and swept the three-leg Singapore Futures with Dutch Sem 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 said he is fortunate to have Peugeot Philippines as sponsor.
“I am very thankful that Peugeot Philippines is supporting me in my trips. I hope that I will be able to win more tournaments not only to improve my world ranking but also to make me a better player,” said Alcantara, who regularly trains at the Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City.
Alcantara has played 10 tournaments in a row before joining the national men’s team in the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia last week.
In August last year, Alcantara got Philippine Davis Cup team captain Karl Santamaria as his personal coach.
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.
“When we started working roughly 12 months ago, we put emphasis on physical fitness. Nino (Alcantara’s nickname) has the talent and the game to be an elite pro, but he also needs to have elite fitness and a body that can take the rigors of competing at a high-level week-in-and-week-out,” said Santamaria.
“We got Reil Espino as fitness coach and we first did tests to measure and assess Nino’s strengths and weaknesses. Then we proceeded to work intensively for the next two months on strength and conditioning, and overall fitness,” Santamaria explained.
After three months, the results showed as Alcantara reached the singles final and the doubles final twice in the Vietnam tournaments he joined.
“In December and January, we devoted time and effort to train again to make Nino stronger and faster. Since then, he has won five doubles titles this year and has reached career-high rankings in singles and doubles,” said Santamaria.