MANILA, Philippines - Wild card entries Johnny Arcilla and Patrick John Tierro trounced their respective rivals to advance in the second round of the $15,000 Olivarez-Cup-Philippine International Men’s Tennis Championship at the Rizal Tennis Center yesterday.
Arcilla fought back from an opening set setback by taking the second frame then pounced on the cramp-stricken Thai Chayanon Kaewsuto to snatch a 4-6, 7-6 (4), 4-1 (retired) victory.
Tierro, on the other hand, whisked off qualifier Calvin Charles Canlas in a tight first-set duel before dominating the second to complete a 7-5, 6-2 triumph to join Arcilla in the Last 16 phase.
But Arcilla will take on fifth seed Andrew Whittington of Australia, who slammed Vietnamese qualifier Nguyen Hoang Thien, 6-1, 6-4, while Tierra will slug it out with giant-slayer Hermida Sanjurjo of Spain, who eked out a shock 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over No. 7 Ivo Minar of the Czech Republic.
Arcilla will need more than his unbelievable resolve and perseverance to beat Whittington, who beat Filipino Jeson Patrombon in the finals to cop an international juniors tournament right on this same venue three years ago.
“It will be tough but we will try to get a win again and make the country proud,” said the 37-year-old Arcilla, the most titled player in the annual PCA Open with seven victories and awarded by the International Tennis Federation as one of the players with most matches played in Davis Cup, in Pilipino.
But except for Arcilla and Tierro, the rest of Filipino campaigners fell one after the other with Asian Youth Games veteran Jurence Mendoza taking a heartbreaking 7-6(5), 6-4 setback at the hands of No. 6 Ivo Kleck of Slovakia.
Jeson Patrombon bowed to Chinese Taipei’s Yu Cheng Yu, 6-4, 7-6 (6); Elbert Anasta fell to Thailand’s Punn Bodhidatta, 7-6(7), 6-4; and Fil-Italian Marc Reyes blew a 4-1 lead in the first set before fading away and losing, 6-4, 6-1 to No. 2 Chen Ti of Chinese Taipei.
Meanwhile, Arcilla is also set to play in the doubles with Kyle Joshua Dandan while Anasta will partner with junior standout Eric Olivarez Jr. Fil-Am Davis Cupper Ruben Gonzales is the top seed in partnership with Sonchat Ratiwatana of Thailand.
The event is backed by official ball Dunlop with matches to be telecast over ABS-CBN Sports Channel 23.