Eric “Jed” Olivarez Jr. used a strong start in each set to topple second seed and doubles partner PJ Tiero, hacking out a 6-4, 6-4 decision to arrange a showdown for the men’s singles crown in the Oliva-rez Cup Open Tennis Championship at the Oli-varez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque yesterday.
Olivarez, taking time out from his studies at Western Michigan Univer-sity, kept the momentum of his big victories over fourth seed Vicente Anasta, 6-4, 6-2, in the Last 16 and No. 5 Leander Lazaro, 6-3, 6-4, in the quarters, breaking Tierro early in each frame which he used as a cushion to earn a first-ever crack at the crown and the top P50,000 purse.
Using his power serve and banking on his steady baseline game, Olivarez took the first three games in the opening set and went 2-0 in the next before thwarting every Tierro fightback to clinch the win.
But standing in his way is the most feared player in the fold – top seed Arcilla, who struggled but prevailed over No. 3 Jason Patrom-bon, 7-5, 6-4, in the other Final Four clash in the eighth staging of the annual event staged by Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez along with Rep. Eric Oli-varez and Dr. Pablo Oliva-rez as part of the family’s long-time commitment to boost the sport and help in the talent-search.
Khim Iglupas, mean-while, moved closer to nailing a fourth straight women’s singles diadem in the event backed by Pala-wan Pawnshop, Stronghold Insurance, Milestone Guarantee Assurance Corp. and Sterling Insu-rance Company by thum-ping Patricia Velez, 6-0, 6-2, in their semis duel.
No. 3 Marian Jade Capadocia, on the other hand, stopped Compostela Valley’s Shaira Riviera’s upset run with an imposing 6-2, 6-1 victory in their side of the semis.
Olivarez and Tierro, meantime, ripped Joshua Kinaadman and Gabriel Peña, 6-3, 6-1, to reach the men’s doubles semis against top seed Patrom-bon and Manuel Balce III, who thwarted Russell Cero and Wydel Deha, 6-4, 3-6, 10-8.
Arcilla and Ronard Joven foiled Lazaro and Fritz Verdad, 6-4, 6-2, to set up a semis clash with Jor-dan Cimafranca and Noel Damian, who upset No. 3 Anasta and Mark Alcose-ba, 6-7(6), 6-3, 10-4.
The Patrimonio sisters, Clarice and Christine, routed Justine Maneja and Chloe Saraza, 6-1, 6-3, to lead the semifinalists in women’s doubles, including sisters Akiko and Rachelle de Guzman, Iglupas and Rivera and sisters Marian and Jade Capadocia.