• Iglupas whips Tanaka, claims Phinma Week 2 crown

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    Khim Iglupas with a forehand return against Rica Tanaka of Japan during the final round of the Phinma-PSC International Juniors Tennis Championships Week 2 at the PCA courts in Paco, Manila. BOB DUNGO JR.

    Khim Iglupas with a forehand return against Rica Tanaka of Japan during the final round of the Phinma-PSC International Juniors Tennis Championships Week 2 at the PCA courts in Paco, Manila. BOB DUNGO JR.

    Top seed Khim Iglupas made up for her failed bid last week with a dominating win in the Phinma-PSC International Juniors Tennis Championships Week 2, overpowering Japanese Rika Tanaka, 6-0, 6-1, to pocket the girls’ singles crown at the PCA courts in Paco, Manila on Sunday.

    Riding the crest of her grueling two-win romp on Saturday, Iglupas flashed top form all throughout, dropping just one game on her way to victory worth 40 ITF points in a big rebound from her semifinal setback to Taiwanese Ting Pei Chang in Week 1 of the annual Grade 4 ITF 18-under category events sponsored by the Phinma Group of Companies and the Philippine Sports Commission.

    Ryuta Ata, who ousted Filipino top seed Bryan Otico in the first round, completed his remarkable run by repulsing compatriot Keisuke Saitoh, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, to snare the boys’ singles diadem in the event backed by Mariposa Foundation, Technifibre and Century Park Hotel. Ata also gained 40 ITF points.

    Iglupas, 18, actually wavered in the quarters, needing an extra set to turn back Japanese Ange Oby Kajuru, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, on Saturday morning as organizers moved the quarterfinal matches from the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center to the PCA shell courts due to inclement weather.

    The Philippine Tennis Academy mainstay returned in the afternoon and rolled past Shiho Tsukuda, 6-4, 6-1, to gain another crack at the crown against Tanaka, who dominated Chinese Jing Jing Yang, 6-1, 6-1, in the quarters before nipping last week’s champion Lee Kuan Yi of Taiwan, 6-0, 6-7 (5), 6-4, in the Final Four.

    But Iglupas proved tougher in the finals with the Iligan City native, who kept the Week 1 crown last year, imposing her will early then cashing in on Tanaka’s miscues to fashion out the lopsided victory.

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