JOHNNY ARCILLA once again proved his mettle on the slow shell-clay courts, outlasting Patrick John Tierro, 6-3, 6-7 (8-6), 4-6, 6-4, 3-1 (retired) last night to rule the men’s singles of the fourth Olivarez Cup Open tennis tournament presented by Palawan Pawnshop.
The four-hour match saw the protagonists battling on even terms with Tierro, who is trying to reclaim his lofty position in the national team after he left the game to concentrate on his studies, fading in the end due to stomach cramps which forced him to quit the championship match watched by a big crowd at Olivarez Gym in Sucat, Paranaque.
Tierro was ahead 40-0, 40-0 in the third when he started to slow down due to cramps.
The win solidified Arcilla’s chance to make the final roster of the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup team which will play host to New Zealand next week in Lapu Lapu City.
Earlier, top seed Clarice Patrimonio needed three sets to down second seed Edilyn Balanga, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, and nail the women’s singles top prize.
Patrimonio, last year’s runner-up, regained the momentum she lost in the second set and dominated the third set against a gritty rival who is trying to carve a niche in local tennis after several stints in Spain.
A freshman at National University, Patrimonio, who pocketed P15,000, actually had a big break when Balanga pulled a hamstring in the opening game of the third.
It was actually a double celebration for Clarice as she and sister Christine annexed the women’s doubles title after beating Balanga and Alyssa Labay, 6-2, 2-6, (10-8).
Third seeds Leander Lazaro and Ronard Joven, also of NU, topped the men’s doubles at the expense of top seeds Fil-Italian Marc Reyes and Tierro, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, in the tourney held in honor of Philippine Tennis Association chief and Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez.