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Rivera saves day for Philippine bets

MANILA, Philippines — Shaira Rivera fashioned out a 6-2, 6-3 romp over Lunda Kumhom of Thailand to make up for a string of setbacks suffered by the local bets from foreign opposition in the Phinma-PSC Juniors Tennis Championships Week 2 at the Manila Polo Club in Forbes Park yesterday.

Rivera imposed her will early against Kumhom then fended off the Thai’s fightback to complete the straight-set victory that came after Melanie Dizon, Isabela Carlos, Rafaella Villanueva and Winona Cabardo bowed out one after the other to seeded foreign rivals.

Dizon fell to No. 2 Thai Punnin Kovapitukted, 6-0, 6-1; Carlos blew a tight first-set game and dropped a 7-5, 6-1 decision to seventh-ranked Japanese Saki Oyama; Villanueva yielded to Annika Kannan of India, 6-2, 6-3; and Cabardo succumbed to No. 2 Lisa Mays of Australia.

But Rivera will have her hands full in the second round where she will face No. 5 Wing Ka Lin of Hong Kong for a spot in the quarterfinals of the Group 4 ITF (International Tennis Federation) 18-and-under event sponsored by the Philippine Investment Management Consultants (Phinma) and Technifiber.

Meanwhile, Nicole Hammond kicked off her Week 2 campaign the way she closed out the first leg of the annual ranking event sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) as the power-hitting American whipped Malaysian Elsa Wan, 6-0, 6-0.

Hammond, who swept compatriot Elizabeth Stevens to rule Week I, never gave Wan a chance in their brief encounter, scoring almost at will to advance to the second round against Chinese No. 4 Xuanjin Li who eased out Sydney Enriquez, 6-2, 7-6(2).

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