Khim Iglupas stepped her drive for a rare three-straight championship, overpowering Mariya Polischuk, 6-3, 6-1, to advance to the semifinal round of the the Phinma-PSC International Juniors Tennis Championships Week 1 at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center on Friday.
Iglupas, 18, imposed her will early on her Russian rival on her way to posting the lopsided victory in 54 minutes after barely surviving Japanese Shiori Ito, 6-4, 7-5, in the previous round of the Grade 4 ITF 18-under category event.
But while the top-seeded Iligan City-based ace cruised to the Final Four of the first of the two-week tournament backed by Mariposa Foundation, Technifibre and Century Park Hotel, Shaira Rivera succumbed to Taiwanese No. 2 Lee Kuan Yi, 2-6, 2-6, in the other featured quarterfinal match.
Meanwhile, Alberto Lim Jr. and Diego Garcia held off Korean Keonho Shin and Japanese Taiyo Yamanaka, 6-4, 6-3, to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals of the boys’ doubles. Bryan Otico and Seita Watanabe of Japan also advanced with a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Japanese Tomoya Ikeda and Fumiya Yoshino.
Rivera and Rafaella Villanueva also subdued Canada’s Sabrina Alano and American Skyler Holm, 6-3, 7-5, to gain a quarters berth in the girls’ doubles.
Back in the girls’ singles, No. 4 Li Xuan Jin of China also moved into the Final Four with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Russian Mariya Krasakova to seal a duel with Lee in the event which stakes 40 ITF (International Tennis Federation) ranking points to the winner and 30 to the runner-up.
Sixth seed Chang Ting-Pei of Taiwan ripped Japanese Shiho Tsukuda, 6-1, 6-1, to arrange a semis clash with Iglupas.
While the seeded players dominated the girls’ side, three unranked bets crashed into the semis of the boys’ division with India’s Digvijay Singh holding off Otico tormentor Keisuki Saitoh of Japan, 6-3, 7-6 (4). He next takes on Ryuki Matsuda, another unseeded player who upended No. 4 compatriot Kazuki Shimizu, 6-1, 6-2.
Tomoya Ikeda toppled No. 8 Ryoma Matsushita, 6-3, 6-2, for a semis face-off with second seed and fellow Japanese Seita Watanabe, who repulsed Malaysian Christian Chin, 6-2, 7-6 (5).