Shaira Rivera flashed top form and stunned top seed Clarice Patrimonio, 6-1, 6-0, to barge into the semifinal round of the Olivarez Cup Open Tennis Championship at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque on Monday.
The fifth-ranked Rivera, the 18-year-old find from Compostela Valley, baffled Patrimonio with her superb all-around game and fashioned out the surprisingly one-sided victory that set her up against third seed Jade Capadocia in the women’s singles semifinals.
Capadocia eased past Rachelle de Guzman, 6-0, 6-1, to bolster her title bid in the eighth staging of the annual event put up by Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez along with Rep. Eric Olivarez and Dr. Pablo Olivarez as part of the family’s long-time commitment to boost the sport.
Second seed and three-time defending champion Khim Iglupas, on the other hand, took the shorter route to the semis, scoring a 1-0 (ret.) win over Miles Vitaliano. The Iligan City ace will dispute the other finals slot with Davao’s Patricia Velez, who held off Aileen Rogan, 6-4, 7-5.
Eric “Jed” Olivarez Jr., meanwhile, sustained his run of reversals, upending No. 5 Leander Lazaro, 6-3, 6-4, to crash into the Final Four of the men’s side of the event backed by Palawan Pawnshop, Stronghold Insurance, Milestone Guarantee Assurance Corp. and Sterling Insurance Company.
The 13th-ranked Olivarez, on a break from his studies at Western Michigan University, earlier shocked No. 4 Vicente Anasta, 6-4, 6-2, in the Last 16 phase to stay in the hunt for the top P50,000 purse.
But he is expected to have his hands full when he faces doubles partner and No. 2 PJ Tierro, who downed Fritz Verdad, 7-6(1), 6-0, for a spot in the finals.
Top seed Johnny Arcilla stayed on track for another championship as he whipped Rodolfo Barquin, 6-2, 6-2, to seal an interesting Final Four duel with No. 3 Jason Patrombon, who survived Ronard Joven, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Also on tap are the men’s and women’s doubles with top seed Manuel Balce and Patrombon leading the quarterfinalists who included Russel Cero and Feb Deha, Olivarez and Tierro, Joshua Kinaadman and Gabriel Peña, Jordan Cimafranca and Noel Damian, Anasta and Mark Alcoseba, Lazaro and Verdad and Arcilla and Joven.
The Patrimonio sisters, Clarice and Christine, on the other hand, head the quarters cast in the distaff side that includes Justine Maneja and Chloe Saraza, Alyssa Bornia and Alliah Ragunton, Akiko de Guzman and Rachelle de Guzman, Bea Acena and Rafaella Villanueva, Iglupas and Rivera, Jesica Agra and Bambi Zoleta, Marian and Jade Capadocia, and Francaix Mangiat and Grace Melchor.