Filipino netters Arthur Craig Pantino and Michael Eala scored contrasting victories in their respective first-round matches to advance to the next round of the 30th Sarawak Chief Minister’s Cup II – ITF Junior Circuit Grade 3 being held at the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association Centre in Malaysia.
Pantino survived the brave stand of Indonesian Muhammad Althad Dhaifullah before completing a 7-6 (6), 7-5 win while Eala needed less than an hour to post a quick 6-2, 6-0 victory over qualifier Man Stapel of Sweden.
The 16-year old Pantino will be facing another tough task as he goes up against third seed Digvijay Pratap Singh of India in the second round of the tournament sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation.
Eala, on the other hand, has 11th seed German Gerhardt Marius Becker as his second-round foe.
Singh and Becker got first-round byes.
In doubles, Pantino partnered with Chinese Lu Pengyu in nailing a 6-2, 7-5 win over Herman Hoeyeraal of Norway and Rikard Raad of Sweden in the first round.
Pantino and Lu will take on fourth seeds Chinese Yu Bingyu and Zhou Xinmu that both earned an opening round bye.
Eala and Malaysian partner Shamriul Shahril Mohd Adam Das, however, was booted out of contention following their 3-6, 1-6 loss to Malaysian Danial Ahmad Farid and Japanese Hiroki Fujita.
In girls’ singles, Rafaella Jean Villanueva lost to Wu Ssu-Yi of Taiwan in the first round, 6-0, 6-1.
Villanueva and Wu will be conniving in the doubles play.
They will meet the No. 5 Australian pair of Ivana Popovic and Megan Smith.
EMIL C. NOGUERA