Four members of the Philippine national tennis teams concluded Thursday with hopes of still making it to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after an up-and-down day at the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena in Doha, Qatar.
Jann Mari Nayre and Rose Jean Fadol came a little close just a few days ago at the World Singles Qualification Tournament held at the same venue, but could not follow up on their respective upsets.
Nonetheless, it was John Russel Misal and Jannah Romero, the two other entries in the said world tourney, who made themselves victorious this time against the other Southeast Asian standouts.
Misal, the UAAP Season 80 MVP, bucked an earlier setback to take his first win of the group, 11-5, 9-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-3, 11-9, against Indonesia’s Deepash Bhagwani, and gave himself a chance at a semifinals berth in the tournament.
The National University product earlier absorbed a sorry defeat against Singapore’s Zhe Yew Clarence Chew, 3-11, 10-12, 11-8, 5-11, 5-11.
Romero, a current De La Salle University student-athlete, took the better of compatriot Fadol, 11-5, 2-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, to take her first victory in the lone group for the women’s side.
Fadol bounced back with a sweep of Indonesia’s Siti Amina at 11-4, 11-2, 11-6, 11-8, to keep herself alive for that solitary berth for Southeast Asian women. On the other hand, Romero slipped against Thailand’s Orawan Paranang, 8-11, 6-11, 8-11, 4-11, to tie Fadol in second place in the group.
Nayre lost his lone assignment for the day against Singapore’s Yew En Koen, 9-11, 11-7, 10-12, 10-12, 11-8, 7-11, and finds himself in a must-win situation on Friday to get into the knockout semifinals.
Nayre and Fadol also tried to clinch a mixed doubles berth, but the pair of Kirill Gerassimenko and Anastassiya Lavrova, swept the next four games after that tight first-set Filipino win at 14-12. The Kazakhs took the match 11-7, 11-7, 11-9, and 11-7.
Here is the schedule for Friday, March 19 (Philippine Standard Time):
Men’s SEA Group 2 – 7 p.m.
Padasak Tanviriyavechakul (THA) vs Misal (PHI)
Men’s SEA Group 1 – 7 p.m.
Rafanael Nikola Niman (INA) vs Nayre (PHI)
Women’s SEA Group – 8:30 p.m.
Paranang (THA) vs Fadol (PHI
Romero (PHI) vs Aminah (INA)
Men’s SEA Semifinals at 11 p.m.