by Kristel Satumbaga
Wildcard bet Jenaila Rose Prulla stole the spotlight from her higher-ranked rivals to capture the girls singles title in the CPSP International Juniors Tennis Championships Week 2 at the Manila Polo Club claycourt over the weekend.
Prulla bested compatriot Ma. Carmencita Isabela Carlos, 6-1, 6-2, for the crown in this Grade 5 tournament to join boys singles champion Udit Gogoi of India at the podium.
This was the second straight title for Prulla after ruling Week 1 at the same venue.
Prulla only dropped one set throughout the tournament as she defeated United States’ Moira Silva, 7-5, 6-2; Week 1 finalist Lin Fang An of Chinese Taipei, 7-6 (5), 6-2; Thailand’s Yatawee Chimcham, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4; and Japan’s Yuna Kadowaki, 6-4, 6-4.
Prulla was actually gunning for a twin victory but she and Japanese partner R. Oyama lost to Taiwanese pair Hsu Ya Chi and Sung Hsing-Ju, 6-2, 7-6 (6), in the semis.
Gogoi, meanwhile, eclipsed his second-round finish in Week 1 by winning the boys crown at the expense of Jay Dylan Friend of New Zealand, 7-5, 6-1.
Like Prulla, Gogoi only lost a set throughout the tournament with victories over Aljon Talatayod, 6-1, 6-3; Korea’s Kim Min Seong, 6-2, 6-4; Chinese Taipei’s Chou Wen-Yi, 6-0, 7-6 (1); and another Taiwanese in Tang Cheng, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.