Martin rips Balce, leads Andrada champions | Inquirer Sports

Martin rips Balce, leads Andrada champions

/ 01:54 AM January 09, 2016

UP-AND-COMING star Jake Martin completely dominated top seed Manuel Balce, 6-2, 6-4, in the boys’ 16-under final Friday to lead the roster of champions in the 27th Andrada Cup age-group tennis championships at Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

The 15-year-old Martin, a former baseball catcher from International Little League Association of the Philippines, put his season on high gear by winning his first title while inching closer to a national team berth in the Junior World Championship.

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“I had a very difficult draw,” said Martin, who trains with the Philippine Tennis Academy. “They are all champions, but my hard work paid off, thanks to all my coaches.”

Martin, a 10th grader from Xavier School who copped seven titles in his age group last year, surged to the title match by beating Justin Suarez (6-1, 6-0) in the semifinals, Gabriel Tiamson (6-1, 6-1) in the quarterfinals, Norman Gaspar (6-1, 6-1) in the second round.

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Also capturing titles in their respective age-groups in the tournament sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Tennis Association were Alexandra Eala in the girls’ 16-under, and Aljon Talatayod in the boys’ 14-under.

Ten-year-old Eala topped the division by stunning top seed Rafaella Villanueva, 6-1, 6-1, in the event held in honor of former Philta president and current PSC commissioner Salvador “Buddy” Andrada.

Talatayod also capped an impressive run to the boys 14-under title by beating Juan Carlo Lapore, 6-0, 6-2.

Martin, a former junior golfer, engaged Balce in a furious second-set battle before finding his range and breaking in the ninth game to seal the victory.

He was a member of the 2014 Philippine team to the junior Davis Cup team and hopes to one day make it to the national team.

Eala lined herself up for a possible championship double as she reached the girls’ 14-under final against Miles Vitaliano.

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TAGS: age, Andrada Cup, roster, tennis championships
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