Francis Casey Alcantara and doubles partner Cheng-Peng Hsieh of Taipei
Francis Casey Alcantara (right) and doubles partner Cheng-Peng Hsieh of Taipei

Cagayan de Oro’s Francis Casey Alcantara’s seemed more comfortable competing in the doubles event.

Alcantara and Taiwan’s Hsieh Cheng-Peng added the 45th Astrid Bowl Charleroi, Belgian International Junior Championships 2009 to their list of victories when they won the doubles crown in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Grade 1 tournament.

The sixth-seeded pair the Brazil-Egypt tandem of Guilherme Clezar and Karim-Mohamed Maamoun in Saturday’s finals, 6-3, 6-2, at the clay courts of the Royal Astrid Tennis Club in Charleloi-Marcinelle, Belgium.

The victory was a fitting warm up as the pair, who won their first major after topping the Australian Open boys’ doubles junior crown early this year, prepares to compete at the clay courts of Roland Garros in the doubles event of this year’s French Open Junior Championships.

Alcantara and Hsieh barged into the finals after a 6-1, 6-1 demolition of the eighth-ranked duo of Argentina’s Facundo Arguello and Kevin Konfederak in the semifinals.

Their other wins included a 6-3, 6-3 decision over the fourth-ranked tandem of Japan’s Hiroyasu Ehara and Shuichi Sekiguchi in the quarterfinals; and 6-2, 6-4 triumph against Americans Jordan Cox and Harry Fowler in the Last 16.

Alcantara and Hsieh earned a first round bye in the tournament.

Alcantara also won doubles titles with different partners. His victories include the ITF/LTAT Junior Championships in Thailand with Liang Chi Huang also of Taipei; the 13th Sarawak Chief Minister’s Cup-ITF World Junior Tennis Championships in Malaysia with Daniel Berta of Sweden; and the 20th Mitsubishi Lancer International Junior Championships in the Philippines also with Berta.

Alcantara, though, was not that lucky in singles play after losing in the second round of the annual Belgian netfest.

After taking a first-round bye as the 14th seed in the Grade 1 clay court tournament, Alcantara failed to move further into the Round of 16 after absorbing a sorry three-setter to American Mitchell Frank, 4-6, 6-3, 4-6.

Alcantara is still looking for his first singles title since topping the Phinma/ITF International Junior Tournament 1 in November 2008 in Manila.

His best finishes in the singles this year were Round of 16 appearances in juniors meets in Thailand, Sarawak, Malaysia and the Philippines.

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