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Saigo, Ando on march to second showdown

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Seita Watanabe of Japan gets low for a backhand return against Thai rival Natthayut Nithitananont yesterday. Photo supplied

Saigo, Ando on march to second showdown

Last week’s beaten finalist Rina Saigo and Japanese compatriot Yuki Ando, who beat her to the title, marched towards another showdown as they made the quarterfinals of the ITF Junior Tennis Tournament girls singles at the National Training Center yesterday.

Top seed Saigo shot past Jai-min Kwon of South Korea 6-4, 6-2, while third seed Ando beat Mariya Krasakova of Russia 6-1, 6-4 Others making the last eight were sixth seed Shevita Aulana of Indonesia, a 6-4, 6-1 winner over Evelina Kontareva of Russia, and the eighth seeded Fang-Hsien Wu of Chinese Taipei, who beat Yuna Ukita of Japan 6-3, 6-2.

The most impressive pre-quarterfinal winner of the day was seventh seed Saki Oyama of Japan, who easily accounted for Rafaella Jean Villanueva of the Philippines 6-0,6-1.

Taking to the court with a new partner in Emiri Takanishi of Japan, Cambodia’s Ho Sreynoch could not repeat her success of the first week.

The pair lost the first round girls doubles contest to Putri Sanjungan Insanto of Indonesia and Tiffany Nguyen of the US 6-2, 6-0.

In the boys draw, top seed Seita Watanabe, ranked 160 in the world, overcame a tough first set to down Natthayut Nithitananont of Thailand 7-5, 6-0 to make the singles yesterday.

The Japanese right-hander was pushed to the extreme in the first set which was marked by long and merited rallies with as many as 20 strokes traded to settle points.

Watanabe was able to break up his Thai rival’s consistency and polished off the second set without conceding a game.

In a match of shifting patterns, Kasidit Samrej of Thailand made it past Takeshi Koey of Malaysia 6-4, 7-6,

Unseeded Thomas Hann of Australia ended the dream run of Hsun Huang Hung of Chinese Taipei with a 7-5, 6-2 win in the second round.

Diego Garcia Dalisay of the Philippines, winner of a similar Grade 5 event late last year, made up for his disappointing first week. In a dominant second round display, Dalisay outplayed Yoon Joon-hee of South Korea 6-1,6-1,
Dalisay’s ability to hit hard and deep into the court proved too hot for Yoon to handle.

Last week’s boys singles runner up Chang Lin Tsai of Chinese Taipei was forced to pull out of his match against Takeshi Koey of Malaysia due to a leg injury.

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