ATP: Gonzales and partner fall short of doubles crown

Fil-Am Ruben Gonzales and partner Nathaniel Lammons of the US failed to sustain their hot charge and dropped a 6-7(6), 3-6 setback to the Polish tandem of Mateusz Kowalczyk and Szymon Walkow in the finals of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger in Sopot, Poland last weekend.

Gonzales and Lammons, who captured the doubles crown in the Hague Open in Scheveningen, the Netherlands last July, posted lopsided victories over R. Olivo and P. Cachin of Argentina, 6-4, 6-2, in the Round of 16, then routed locals K. Drzewiecki and K. Zuk, 6-3, 6-1, in the quarters before breezing to the finals with a ret. win over H. Dellien of Bolivia and M. Cuevas of Uruguay in the semis of the $75,000 tournament.

Despite their failed title drive, Gonzales reached a career-best world ranking of No. 136. He was previously ranked No. 193 in the world at the end of 2017 with the 32-year-old, who has played a total of 20 tournaments in the first half of the season, bracing for more ATP tournaments the rest of the year.

“I would like to congratulate Ruben for making great strides and I am confident he will enter the top 100 this year and compete in the grand slam next year,” said Cebuana Lhuillier president/CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier, also the head of Unified Tennis Philippines.

Gonzales, who has represented the country in major tournaments such as the Davis Cup, Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games, and Lammons also reached the semifinal round of the Aamulehti Open in Tampere, Finland and in the Bastad Challenger in Sweden.

With Indonesian Christopher Rungkat as partner, Gonzales also finished second in the Gang Jiang New Area International Tournament in Nanchang, China last April. Gonzales also partnered with Hunten Reese from USA and reached the semis in the Portugal Futures 6 tournament in Lisbon, Portugal.

“I’m trying to focus on my goal of cracking the Top 100 this year. Getting closer to that is good,” said Gonzales, who won the doubles silver with Francis Casey Alcantara in the SEA Games in Malaysia last year. Gonzales is also the Brand Ambassador of Cebuana Lhuillier Sports and has been with the company for a long time.