• Lee, Matsuda bag Phinma Week 1 crowns

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    Second seed Kuen Yi Lee toppled fellow Taiwanese Ting Pei Chang, 6-4, 6-1, to claim the girls’ crown but Japanese Ryuki Matsuda stunned second pick compatriot Seita Watanabe, 6-4, 7-5, to snare the boys’ plum in the Phinma-PSC International Juniors Tennis Championships Week 1 at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center on Sunday.

    Lee, who eased out Filipina Shaira Rivera, 6-2, 6-2, in the quarters and Chinese Li Xuan Jin, 6-4, 6-2, in the semis, survived a first set scare but dominated Chang in the next to fashion out the straight-set victory and gain 40 ranking points in the Grade 4 ITF 18-under category events sponsored by the Phinma Group of Companies and the Philippine Sports Commission.

    Chang failed to flash the form she dished out in upending Filipino top seed Khim Iglupas in the Final Four, 7-6(3), 6-3, succumbing to Lee’s formidable all-around game in the second set. She settled for 30 ITF points.

    Iglupas and the other semifinalists took 20 points while the quarterfinalists and the losers in the Last 16 phase earned 15 and 10 points, respectively, according to tournament director Loida Mallare.

    Matsuda, meanwhile, capped a big week by stunning the fancied Watanabe with gutsy plays to eke out the win in a tightly fought contest. He also earned 40 ITF points staked in the event backed by Mariposa Foundation, Technifibre and Century Park Hotel firing off on Tuesday.

    Bryan Otico, the Filipino top seed in the boys’ side who took an early exit in the singles, redeemed himself in the doubles as he teamed up with Watanabe to repulse Malaysian Christian Chin and India’s Digvijay Singh, 4-6, 6-2 (10-7) and clinch the crown worth 30 ITF points. Chin and Singh settled for 20 points each.

    Taiwan’s Lin Hsuan Yu and Japanese partner Shiho Tsukua also turned back Chang and China’s Li Xuan Jin, 6-4, 6-7 (10-7), to bag the girls’ doubles crown.

    Meanwhile, local bets Austin Santos, Matthew Garcia, Joseph Tiamson and Jose Antonio Tria hurdled their respective matches yesterday to move into the second round of Week 2 Qualifying Tournament.

    Santos trounced Terrell Arejola, 6-0, 6-3; Garcia booted out Sebastien Lhuillier, 6-1, 6-1; Tiamson held off Portugal’s Lourenco De Almeida, 7-6 (6), 7-5, and Tria scored a walkover win over Jahaan Sachdeva of India.

    Others who stayed in the hunt for the four berths in the main draw were Charles Barry of Ireland, Hong Kong’s Kyle Tang, Thais Nutdanai Sin­charienwattan and Pawin Jira­poom­daje and Singapore’s Justin Oeni.

    Barry shut out Juan Diego Barrientos, 6-0, 6-0; Tang turned back Cenon Gonzales Jr., 6-2, 3-6, 6-1; Sincharienwattan crushed Joaquin de Venecia, 6-0, 6-0; Jirapoomdaje overpowered Daniel Estanislao, 6-2, 6-2; and Oeni beat Jaime Almario, 6-0, 6-1.

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