DIEGO Dalisay downed compatriot Fritz Verdad, 6-3, 6-2, on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center to move closer of earning a spot in the main draw of the $75,000 ATP Challenger Philippine Open.
Dalisay, a 16-year-old teener born and raised in Madrid, easily dispatched Verdad, even as PJ Tierro and Leander Lazaro made early exits in the tournament sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, the Philippine Tennis Association, Cebuana Lhuillier, Dunlop, and Chris Sports.
Playing for the Philippines for the first time, Dalisay is set to meet Nikola Mektic of Croatia on Sunday for a spot in the main draw.
“I just played my game and tried to enjoy it,” said Dalisay, whose mother traces her roots in San Nicolas, Batangas and is mentored by national coach Roland Kraut.
Mektik downed Stefano Napolitano of Italy, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, to arrange a match with Dalisay for a slot in the main draw.
Tierro put up a gallant stand before losing to Yu Chu-huan of Chinese Taipei, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, while Lazaro was swept by Ruan Roelofse of South Africa, 6-1, 6-2.