Tamitha bests Clarice for Vietnam title
Tamitha Nguyen capitalized on an error-prone compatriot Clarice Patrimonio to pull off a 6-2, 6-4 rout on Friday and nail the girls’ singles crown of the Becamex ITF Junior Championships at the Binh Duong Tennis Stadium in Vietnam.
In a first All-Filipino final in recent memory, Tamitha, daughter of former national titlist and US NCAA singles champion Edna Olivarez-Nguyen, duplicated Patrimonio’s ITF singles victory in Hong Kong a week earlier.
Patrimonio made amends by teaming up with Indonesian partner Nadya Syarifah to outlast the tough Vietnamese pair of Ngoc Minh Nguyen and Thi Thanh Bin Phan in the doubles finals, 3-6, 6-2, 12-10.
The daughter of former PBA sperstar Alvin Patrimonio and wife Cindy set up match point with a down-the-line shot and clinched the win with a volley winner, 12-10.
Tamitha earlier upset top seed Nadya Syarifah of Indonesia, 6-2, 6-0, to arrange the finals clash with Clarice, who clawed back from the brink to nip Thai Sawanya Vasupongchai, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, in a grueling three-hour semifinal.
“[Clarice] was pressured going against a fellow Filipino and made too many errors,” Cindy Patrimonio told the Inquirer.
Coach Karl Santamaria said Clarice showed only 50 percent of her usual game.
Tamitha easily won the first set, 6-2, and led 4-0 in the second, before Clarice belatedly “started playing her usual game.”
Santamaria said Clarice “put too much pressure on herself.”
“She didn’t move and couldn’t get her shots in [in the finals],” he said. “She kept thinking too much. On a normal day, others from Manila wouldn’t be able to win against her. Anyway, she will learn.”
It was a breakthrough victory for Tamitha as she beat the Indonesian for the first time in three head-to-head encounters this year.
Tamitha, who just turned 16 last Oct. 7, lost to the same Indonesian in the quarterfinals of the Indonesia ITF event last June.
Like Patrimonio last week in Hong Kong, the Vietnam victory was Tamitha’s first career singles title in an ITF event.With a report from Marc Anthony Reyes