Khim Iglupas fought off two match points in the second set then pounced on Marian Capadocia’s shaky finish to hack out a 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-3 victory and set up a title clash with Clarice Patrimonio in the seventh Olivarez Cup Tennis Championship at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat on Friday.
Down a set and 1-5 in the second frame, Iglupas, 18, put on a gem of comeback from 15-40, stealing the seventh game then sweeping the next five to steal the set and force a decider.
It was all Iglupas in the third as the Philippine Tennis Academy mainstay sustained her form and dominated Capadocia with her baseline game to complete the gruelling come-from-behind win that took three hours to finish.
That kept the Iligan City-based ace, who also edged Capadocia in last year’s finals, on track for a three-peat in this annual event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and backed by backed by Milestone Guaranty and Assurance Corp. and Slazenger as official ball.
But out to foil her bid is the second seeded Patrimonio, who trounced Maia Balce, 6-3, 6-1, in the other semifinal match in the ladies Open singles of the top-ranking tournament staged by Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez along with Rep. Eric Olivarez and Dr. Pablo Olivarez as part of the family’s long-time commitment to boost the development of the sport and help discover fresh talents.
Iglupas and Patrimonio dispute the crown at 9 a.m. today.
“This is going to be thriller of a finale. Khim is on a roll but Clarice is just as determined to win this one,” said Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
Patrimonio earlier subdued Shaira Rivera, 7-5, 6-2, while Balce scored a walkover win over Miles Vitaliano. Capadocia, on the other hand, ripped Frances Santiago, 6-0, 6-0, while Iglupas turned back Christine Patrimonio, 6-2, 7-6(1).
Top seed Johnny Arcilla and No. 2 Patrick John Tierro, meanwhile, hacked out victories in contrasting fashions to advance to the semis of the men’s Open singles. Arcilla eased out Michael Madrio, 6-0, 6-1, to seal a Final Four duel against third seed Albert Anasta, who held off Leander Lazaro, 7-6(2), 7-5.
Tierro, on the other hand, survived Eric Olivarez Jr., 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-1, to arrange a clash with giant-killer Bryan Otico, who shocked Ronard Joven, 6-2, 6-3.