Fancied Filipino aces Jurence Mendoza and Maika Jae Tanpoco fashioned out contrasting victories yesterday to reach the second round of the Phinma International Juniors Tennis Championships at Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Unleashing his vaunted power game, the 16-year-old Mendoza overwhelmed Korean Jigin Kweon, 6-2, 6-2, while Tanpoco survived some anxious moments before bundling out India’s Mahitha Reddy, 6-4, 7-5.
Tanpoco, coming off a stellar performance in the Singapore Juniors last week, shattered Reddy’s serve once in the opening set and showed poise under pressure to eke out a tight victory in the second frame. The victory shoved Tanpoco to a last 16 clash with Gabriella Taylor of Great Britain in the girls’ division.
Flashing dominant form, Mendoza needed just a little over an hour to dispose of Kweon and forge a duel with the winner between Chinese Taipei’s Wu Ting-lin and Hong Kong’s Lam Siu-chuen.
“I’ve faced tougher players in Grade A and higher-graded events in Japan and Korea in the last several weeks before this tournament and I know my life will be a little bit easier here,” said Mendoza.
Two other Filipino players hurdled their rivals with Marian Capadocia breezing past Russian Kristina Pastukhova, 6-1, 6-1, and Melissa Esguerra outlasting Malasyian Jia Wei Ti, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.
But the odds will be stacked against Capadocia in the next round where she will meet top seed Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy of India, who beat Nozomi Ohya of Japan, 6-3, 6-2.
Esguerra faces Tamachan Momkoonthod in the next round after the Thai whitewashed Lenelyn Milo, 6-0, 6-0.