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COCOY, JARATA WIN IN SINGAPORE TENNIS TOURNAMENT



DOUBLES CHAMPION. Marielle Alexi Jarata presents her medals to Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) College of Education Elementary Laboratory School principal Rodelio de Vera Indong during a courtesy call on Nov. 6, 2018. Jarata won the doubles title and finished third in the singles category in the ATF Junior 14-Under Championships, which was held from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3 in Singapore. (Contributed Photo)

MANILA -- The Philippines captured two titles in the Singapore ATF Junior 14-Under Championships, which was held from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3 at the Kallang Tennis Center.

Jufe-Ann Cocoy, who entered the main draw as a qualifier, pocketed the girls' singles title after pulling off a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Jaeah Lee of South Korea.

Cocoy eliminated Filipino and seventh seed Marielle Alexi Jarata, 6-1, 6-1, to reach the championship round.

On her way to the semifinal, Cocoy beat Suhani Suhanimadan of India, 6-1, 6-1 (first round); second seed Pimmada Lim of Thailand, 7-5, 6-3 (second round); and wild card Sarah Li-ann Chan of Singapore, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 (quarterfinal).

Cocoy shared the limelight with Jarata, who won the girls' doubles title with Jo-Leen Saw of Malaysia.

The top-seeded pair of Jarata and Saw rallied past Nao Phang Ziyi of Malaysia and Francesca Tan of Singapore, 6-3, 5-7, 10-8, in the final.

In the semifinal round, Jarata and Saw prevailed over wild cards Claire Chan and Julienne Goh of Singapore, 6-4, 3-6, 10-6, while Ziyi and Tan stunned second seeds Hoi Yiu Michelle Wong of Hong Kong and Michelle Yeo of Singapore, 1-6, 6-4, 10-7.

Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Jarata downed qualifier Nao Phang Ziyi of Malaysia, 5-4 (2), 5-4 (9), to finish third.

"Walang katumbas na kaligayahan ang aking naramdaman nung ako ay nanalo sa doubles sa Singapore dahil ito ang pinakauna kong trophy na nasungkit ko sa paglalaro ng tennis sa ibang bansa [Nothing can compare to the happiness I felt after winning the doubles in Singapore because this is the first trophy, I got for playing tennis abroad]," the 11-year-old Jarata said in an interview on Saturday.

Jarata, who learned tennis at the age of four, said she looks up to Alex Eala, the country's best junior player, who is now training at the prestigious Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy in Spain.

"Aking iniidolo si Alex Eala kung saan siya ay lumalaban na sa mga nakakataas na kategorya sa edad na trese 13 lamang [I idolize Alex Eala because she is competing in higher categories even if she's only 13 years old]," said Jarata, a Grade 6 student at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University in La Union.

In the boys' doubles category. Exequiel Jucutan and Joewyn Rey Pascua lost the title to top seeds Kwok Shun Dasson Chan of Hong Kong and Brendan Hendrata of Singapore, 2-8, 0-6.

Jucutan and Pascua made it to final after beating compatriots and third seeds Axl Lajon Gonzaga and Marc Andrei Jarata, 6-2, 6-3.

In the singles category, Jucutan finished third, following his 3-5, 4-0, 4-0 victory over compatriot Heinz Asian Carbonilla.

The fourth-seeded Chan bagged the singles title after seventh-ranked Hendrata retired in the second set. The score was 6-1, 2-0 in favor of Chan. (PNA)

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