• Mitsui foils Pantino; Hammond prevails


    Top seed Shunsuke Mitsui pounded local ace Arthur Pantino with his power game and fashioned out a 6-3, 6-3 victory to claim the boys’ crown while American Nicole Hammond also dominated compatriot Elizabeth Stevens, 6-1, 6-4, for the girls’ plum in the Phinma-PSC Juniors Tennis Championships Week I at the Manila Polo Club in Forbes Park on Sunday.

    Mitsui imposed his will early in the opening frame then the Japanese rallied from 1-3 down in the second to complete the straight-set victory and pocket the crown in the Group 4 ITF (International Tennis Federation) 18-and-under event sponsored by the Philippine Investment Management Consultants (Phinma) and Technifiber and sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta).

    Hammond dished out a more impressive game in blasting Stevens in the first set then fended off the latter’s fightback in the second with a break to likewise complete the straight-set victory in the week-long ITF-sanctioned tournament supported by Technifiber ball as official ball, official hotel Jinjiang Inn, Makati and the Philippine Sports Commission.

    The second seeded Pantino somehow made up for the singles setback by teaming up with Michael Eala as they took the doubles diadem with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Japanese Kei Manaka and Taiyo Yamanaka.

    Hammond, on the other hand, completed a sweep as she and Stevens repelled Chinese Jingyi Li and Fangran Tian, 6-3, 6-4, to nail the girls’ doubles plum.

    Meanwhile, Week 2 of the ITF ranking event fires off tomorrow (Tuesday) with the last of the two-day qualifiers held today, also at the MPC, according to tournament director Chris Cuarto with Malaysian Razmee Rawi as the tournament referee.



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