MANILA – Filipino-American Ruben Gonzales has achieved a career-best doubles ranking of No. 136 after competing in the USD75,000 Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger in the seaside city of Sopot in Poland over the weekend.
Second seeds Gonzales and American partner, Nathaniel Lammons, lost to the unseeded Polish tandem of Mateusz Kowalczyk and Szymon Walkow, 6-7 (6), 3-6, in the championship round played at the Tennis Club Arka clay court.
On their way to the finals, Gonzales and Lammons defeated Argentina's Pedro Cachin and Renzo Olivio, 6-4, 6-2 (first round), Poland's Karol Drzewiecki and KacperZuk, 6-3, 6-1 (second round) and Uruguay's Martin Cuevas and Bolivia's Hugo Dellien (walkover).
Gonzales has played in 20 tournaments this year. He was ranked No. 193 at the end of 2017.
Last month, Gonzales and Lammons defeated Venezuela's Luis David Martinez and Portugal's Goncalo Oliveira, 6-3, 6-7 (8), 10-5, to win the Hague Open in Scheveningen, Netherlands.
In April, Gonzales and Indonesian partner, Christopher Rungkat, reached the final but bowed to China's Mao-Xin Gong and Ze Zhang, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 7-10 in the Gang Jiang New Area International tournament in Nanchang, China.
Gonzales teamed up again with Lemmons, reaching the semifinal in the Aamulehti Open in Tampere, Finland (with Lemmons) and Bastad Challenger in Bastad, Sweden. Gonzales partnered with American HuntenReese in the Portugal Futures 6 tournament in Lisbon, Portugal where they reached the semifinal round.
"It was a great week for me and my partner (Lammons). We have been playing well. We won another ATP Challenger in the Netherlands a few weeks ago. We're looking forward to keeping the momentum going," the 32-year-old Gonzales said in an online interview on Monday.
"I'm trying to focus on my goal of cracking the Top 100 this year. Getting closer to that is good," said Gonzales, who is scheduled to compete in another ATP Challenger event in Slovenia this week.
Gonzales has represented the Philippines in major tournaments such as the Davis Cup, Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games. Last year, he won the men's doubles silver with Francis Casey Alcantara in the SEA in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Gonzales will not take part in the 18th Asian Games which will be held from August 18 to September 2 in Indonesia.
"I'm struggling with an elbow problem so it would be tough to try and play that well. I'll be going home to see a doctor as soon as I finish my tournaments here," Gonzales said.
"I've already committed to play in the SEA Games next year," he added.*PNA
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