KUALA LUMPUR — Anna Clarice Patrimonio will face top seed Thai Luksika Kumkhum in the championship round Saturday in the tennis competition of the 29th Southeast Asian Games here.
Kumkhum, who is ranked No. 180 in the world, demolished third seed Singaporean Stefani Tan, 6-1, 6-1, in the semifinal.
Patrimonio marched into the women’s singles final on Thursday to assure the Philippines of a silver medal in the tennis competition.
The 5-foot-9 Patrimonio fought with a big fighting heart to beat Cambodia’s No. 1 player, Andrea Ka, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), after a gruelling 2-hour and 12-minute match under the scorching sun at the National Tennis Centre in Jalan Duta.
“I am so happy to be in the final, it was a tough match,” said the 23-year-old hotel and restaurant management student at the National University.
“I had little training before this tournament because of my studies but I am determined to win a medal here,” said Patrimonio, back-to-back singles and doubles champion in the Philippine Columbian Association.
Ka, who is the world’s No. 613 player, noted Patrimonio’s powerful forehand and mental toughness.
“She has good strokes. She hits hard and it’s not easy to get her ball,” said the 25-year-old French-Cambodian, who has marketing degree at the University of San Francisco in California.
“Mentally, she’s always in the match. She never gave up,” said Ka, who lost in the second round during the 2011 SEA Games in Palembang, Indonesia. She reached the quarterfinal in Singapore two years ago.
“I am disappointed because I was leading in the tie-breaker in the first set. I had the momentum but I did not take the opportunity,” said Ka.
Patrimonio defeated Singaporean Charmaine Seah Shi Yi, 6-0, 4-6, 6-4, in the first round before pulling off a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 win over Indonesian Beatrice Gumulya, who eliminated second seed Thai Bunyawi Thamchaiwat, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.