Top seeds Khim Iglupas and Toru Horie of Japan lived up to the hype and clipped their rivals in straight-set fashions as they ruled their respective divisions in the Phinma-PSC International Juniors Tennis Championships – Week 1 at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center Sunday.
Iglupas, who needed three sets to dispose of Thailand’s Watsachol Sawasdee in the semis, imposed her will early against Rifanty Kahfiani then broke her Indonesian rival once in the second frame to fashion out a 6-2, 6-4 victory and capture the girls’ singles crown in the Grade 4 ITF (International Tennis Federation) 18-Under category event sponsored by the Phinma Group of Companies, Philippine Sports Commission and Mariposa Foundation.
The victory came on the heels of the 16-year-old Philippine Tennis Academy’s standout’s romp in the Olivarez and it set her up for a possible sweep of the twin titles when Week 2 of the circuit, sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association and backed by PSC for the free use of RMTC and Asiatraders Corp for the Dunlop balls, is played starting Tuesday, also at the RMTC.
Iglupas also re-claimed the crown won by compatriot Jade Capadocia in 2012.
Horie also primed up for a sweep as he outlasted compatriot Yunosuke Tanaka, 6-2, 7-5, to claim the boys’ singles plum without dropping a set in all five matches.
Meanwhile, Jacob Martin battled from a set down to beat Japan’s Kentaro Ochiai, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-0, while Manuel Balce III nipped Korean Yoon Hak Lee, 7-6(2), 7-5, at the start of the two-day qualifiers for the Week 2 championship.
But Jeremiah Tomacruz dropped a 6-0, 6-3 setback to India’s Gritharan Devendiran while Stephen Lhuillier absorbed a 6-0, 6-0 beating from Tin Long Hugo Wong of Taiwan and bowed out of the race.
Meanwhile, Andrea Amistad and Rafaella Villanueva are vying for four berths among 18 aspirants in the girls’ side, according to tournament director Loida Mallare with Wannawit Srirasa of Thailand as the event’s ITF supervisor/referee.
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