Balce, Santiago advance in ITF jrs.

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Maia Balce and Frances Santiago carved out victories in varying fashions to roll into the second round of the girls’ singles in the International Juniors Tennis Championships—Week 2 on Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

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Balce, who reached the quarters in Week 1, broke Takako Aikawa once in the opening set then dominated her Japanese rival in the next to complete a 6-4, 6-2 victory for a Last 16 clash with the winner between third seed Ma Qi Li of China and Yuelin Chen of Taiwan at press time.

Santiago, on the other hand, upended Singaporean Angeline Devanthiran in a thrilling three-set duel, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (5), to advance and make up for her first round setback in last week’s start of the two-stage circuit, a Grade 4 ITF (International Tennis Federation) 18-Under category event.

But Santiago will have her hands full against No. 6 Momoka Chimura of Japan, who trounced Korean Soomin Kim, 6-0, 6-2, in the second round.

Meanwhile, top seed Khim Iglupas launched her drive for a second straight crown as she blasted Japan’s Nanaka Takeuchi, 6-2, 6-1, to likewise ease through the Last 16 phase where she will slug it out with either Thai P. Sukkanha or Japan’s Asumi Kanazawa.

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