Rivera saves day for PHL bets

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 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 Japanse 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, a veteran of the WTA Future Stars, 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 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 she whipped Malaysian Elsa Wan, 6-0, 6-0. (PR)