Patrimonio nails first ITF juniors crown | Inquirer Sports

Patrimonio nails first ITF juniors crown

08:49 AM October 09, 2010

Clarice Patrimonio capped an amazing run to win her first ITF juniors singles title by beating Japan’s Mana Ayukawa, 7-5, 6-1, in the finals played at the Victoria Park Tennis Center Saturday.   In a match that took over two hours, the daughter of former PBA superstar Alvin Patrimonio and wife Cindy broke Ayukawa twice in the first set to seize a 4-1 lead.   However, the Japanese fought back to take a 5-4 lead and was poised to clinch the set when Patrimonio picked her apart with an array of heavy spins, angled shots and powerful groundstrokes to take control of the match.   Patrimonio’s coach, Karl Santamaria, reported in an e-mail that Patrimonio hammered home two service winners and a sizzling forehand to take the opening set. She then dominated Ayukawa in the second set to notch the crown.   “Nakakatuwa (It’s heartwarming),” said dad Alvin, one of two players to have won the PBA MVP trophy four times. “She scored her breakthrough win and I really feel this gets her over the hump. I hope this is the start of many victories for her.”   Patrimonio was scheduled to arrive from Hong Kong last night. However, she was to spend only a night in the country before jetting to Vietnam today for yet another tournament.   Patrimonio, who turns 17 on Nov. 25, has a little over a year to campaign in the juniors division before crashing the pro ranks in 2011 or early 2012.   “Her goal right now is to make the top 100 of the junior rankings before campaigning in the WTA,” said Alvin.   Mom Cindy told the Inquirer that Clarice had to struggle in an epic semifinal clash against Pu Zexin of China, where she lost the first set, 0-6, and was down 2-5 and facing four match points.   Patrimonio fought off all four match points to force a tiebreak, where she trailed, 1-4.   After battling to claim the second set, Patrimonio fell behind in the third set, 1-3, before rattling off six games in a row to take the third set, 6-3, and clinch a berth in the final.   Santamaria thanked chief backer Oscar Hilado of the Mariposa Foundation and coach Suang Chantra-Urai and Pyramid Tennis Academy for helping Patrimonio prepare for the tournaments.

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TAGS: Clarice Patrimonio, ITF Juniors, Tennis

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