Olivarez beaten

Manila, Philippines – Eric Olivarez, Jr. squandered an early lead in the deciding third set and dropped a heartbreaking 0-6, 6-4, 3-6 loss to top seed Oh Chan Yeong of Korea in the semifinal round of the ITF Asia 14 and Under Development Championships­Division I Week 2 at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center yesterday.

It was a sorry setback for the top Filipino junior netter, who broke his fancied rival early to seize a 2-0 lead in the decider but cracked up when the Korean ace, chasing a second straight crown in the event sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation, applied the pressure in the third game onwards.

Oh also took the next two games to wrest control and after Olivarez held serve to draw level, the Korean held serve twice then broke the Filipino again in the eighth and later the latter’s heart after securing the crucial win in two hours.

Oh goes for a sweep of the twin titles staked in the two-week long event held under the auspices of the Philippine Tennis Association against No. 5 Jurabek Karimov of Uzbekistan, who overpowered Chinese-Taipei’s Wu Tung Lin, 62, 6-1, in the other semis clash in the tournament backed by the Philippine Tennis Academy, Mariposa Foundation, Dunlop Fort Balls, Magnolia Purewater, Century Park Hotel, Fresh Fruits, Fiesta Brands, Cebuana Lhuillier, Phinma and the Philippine Sports Commission.

Still, it was a solid finish by Olivarez, who will turn 14 on April 13, who showed a lot of promise after upending No. 8 Wang Hsiang Yi, 7-5, 4-6, 11-9, in the second round then surviving Korean Lim Min Soeb in a grueling 4-6, 7-6(5), 13-11 victory in the quarters.


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