TOP seed Clarice Patrimonio overpowered No. 2 Edilyn Balanga in the decider, scoring a 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 victory to re-claim the ladies singles crown in the fourth Olivarez Cup Open Tennis Championship presented by Palawan Pawnshop at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque on Sunday.
Patrimonio, who lost the crown she won last year to absentee Marian Capadocia last March, recovered from a close second-set defeat with a strong performance in the third, blasting away winners while pouncing on Balanga’s injury to pocket the crown worth P15,000.
The Spain-based Balanga sustained a left hamstring injury in the first game of the third, slowing her down and enabling Patrimonio to take command.
The National University freshman earlier teamed up with sister Christine to outlast Balanga and Alyssa Labay, 6-2, 2-6, 10-8, and bag the ladies doubles crown and complete NU’s romp in the week-long event held in honor of Philta president and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
NU also took the men’s doubles plum as third seed Leander Lazaro and Ronard Joven stunned top-ranked Marc Reyes and Patrick John Tierro, 7-6(6), 6-2, underscoring the school’s sound tennis development program.
Lazaro and Joven earlier bundled out second seed Johnny Arcilla and Vicente Anasta, 6-4, 6-4, while Reyes and Tierro repulsed Jason Patrombon and Fritz Verdad, 2-6, 6-2, 10-7.
The Patrimonio-Balanga duel appeared headed to a down-to-the-wire finish after the former broke the latter once to win the opening set before Balanga struck back in the second to avert a sweep.
But Clarice, who dropped just seven games in three matches on her way to the finals, including a 6-0, 6-3 romp over giant-killer and Olivarez Cup age-group champion Maia Balce in the semis, imposed her will in the decider to dominate Balanga and fashion out the win.
Balanga earlier clipped the tournament’s other surprise package in Katrina Orteza, 7-6 (4), 6-3, to get a crack at the crown.