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ATP: Alcantara, Rungkat finish runner-up anew in Bangkok Challenger

Third time was not quite the charm for Philippine national tennis team doubles ace Francis Casey Alcantara and Indonesian star Christopher Rungkat.

In their third campaign as a duo and their third finals appearance, Alcantara and Rungkat could not clinch their first doubles title together as they fell on Saturday to Yunseong Chung of South Korea and Ajeet Rai of Australia, 1-6, 6-7 (6-8), in the finals of the ATP Challenger Bangkok 3 held at the Rama Gardens Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

Going into the finals, Chung and Rai had not dropped a set. The Korean and Australian pair eliminated second seeds Ray Ho of Chinese Taipei and Grigoriy Lomakin of Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals.

Chung and Rai followed it up with another straight set conquest in the semifinals over third seeds Toshihide Matsui and Kaitoo Uesegi of Japan.

They carried over their momentum to the finals as they raced to a 5-0 lead in the opening set which they won with ease.

But Alcantara and Rungkat, fresh off a runner-up finish the previous week in the Bangkok Open 2, showed heart by coming out strong in the second set. Alcantara and Rungkat gained the upper hand after a 1-1 and zoomed ahead to 5-1. But things went downhill from there as Rungkat required medical attention when his knee started to bother him.

It was the opening Chung and Rai needed to stage a comeback and send the second set to a tiebreak which saw them gain control of the match.

Alcantara and Rungkat managed to save two match points after being down 4-6, but Chung and Rai eventually closed out the second set tiebreak to bag home the championship trophy.

#ReadMore  Philippines eliminated by Thailand in Davis Cup Group II semis

Alcantara, the 2019 SEA Games men’s doubles gold medalist, will hope to build on the gains of the past two weeks when he sees action in two M25 ITF events in Vietnam beginning on September 26.

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