The formidable Patrimonio sisters—Clarice and Christine – inched closer to the elusive title as they marched into the semifinals on Thursday in the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier Wildcard Event at the PCA clay courts in Paco, Manila.
The 21-year-old Clarice turned back No.8 Rafaella Villanueva, 6-1, 6-3, and arranged a match against No. 3 Edilyn Balanga who defeated No. 5 Shaira Hope Rivera, 6-3, 6-1.
Seventh pick Christine, who started off shaky, rallied to oust No. 2 Marinel Rudas, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, to join her younger sister in the next round.
The 23-year-old Christine will face No. 4 Maia Balce who beat No. 6 Hannah Espinosa, 6-4, 6-4.
The semifinal round for ladies singles in the tournament supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, The Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao is set on Saturday.
In the men’s singles, veteran aces Patrick John Tierro and Johnny Arcilla carved their spots in the semifinals after scoring contrasting victories.
Top-ranked Tierro rallied to defeat No.6 Marc Anthony Reyes, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0. The 30-year-old Tierro, who aims to clinch his second title, will meet Elbert Anasta a 7-5, 7-6 (5) winner over No. 5 Rolando Ruel Jr.
Arcilla, on the other hand, came out strong and solid right off the bat as decimated Ronard Joven, 6-6, 6-2.
“Unti-unti nang gumaganda ang laro ko pero hindi pwede magkum¬piyansa dahil mas matindi na ang labanan sa mga susunod na laro. Kailangang maging consistent parati, less errors para makakuha ng magandang resulta,” said Arcilla, whose quest for his ninth PCA title ended abruptly last year.
Arcilla will duel the winner between Australian Open juniors doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara and top junior netter Alberto Lim Jr. as men’s singles semis take centerstage today in the event also supported by Whirlpool/Fujidenzo, Broadway Motor Sales Corp. Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines, Tyrecorp Incorporated, Pearl Garden Hotel, Metro Global Holdings Corporation, Avida, PVL Restaurant, Mary Grace Foods, Inc., Seno Hardware and Wire Rope Corporation.
The finalists in the men’s singles will earn automatic berths in the main draw of the upcoming 2015 Manila International Tennis Federation (ITF) Men’s Futures Leg 2 slated on October 12, while the players who make it into the quarterfinals and semifinals will gain access to the qualifying round.
Only the winners in the doubles division will be given spots in the ITF main 16-pair main draw.
A total of P172,000 is up for grabs this year with the men’s single champ taking the top purse of P50,000, while the runner-up gets P25,000. The ladies singles titlist and runner-up will take home P20,000 and P10,000, respectively.