By Syed Parwaiz Imam

RIYADH, March 6 – Much to the expectations, the top seed Helen Simolde of King Faisal Specialist hospital and research center (KFSH) came out big winner in Flight-A singles recently in the third LITT tennis tournament with straight sets victory over the second seed Binky De Leon at the King Fahad National Guard hospital (KFNGH) court before a huge and appreciative crowd.
The new queen showed her superb form while the opponent displayed flashes of brilliance in the match that was filled with numerous winning shots from both. Despite the victory by 6-1, 6-4 margin, many of the games were decided after prolonged deuces. After the final showdown, both the players embraced each other to the loud cheers of the jam-packed Friday crowd.
A day earlier, Simolde and L. Skepper, the KFSH pair, dominated against G. Ege and K. Malayas, winning in the end by 6-0, 6-4 to emerge the Flight-A doubles champions. The victors began on a fast note and did not give away any point in the first set. Their opponents visibly bothered by the strong wind, made a run at the second but could not overcome the accurate returns.
The Flight-B singles champion was the top seed J. Alimpuangon of KFNGH. She played patiently at the baseline returning crisply the shot coming from the second seed M. Tuquiero of the Security Forces hospital (SFH). The latter ventured to the next quite a few times to try to gain some advantage but was not successful and lost 3-6, 3-6. The doubles title here went to B. Custombrado and M. Quilang without a fight when B. Vasquez and A. Misola defaulted. The reason being that Misola had to fly out of the Kingdom, said M. Lector of the organizing committee.
B. Flores, an unseeded player from KKUH defeated F. Basilio of SFH 6-2, 6-4 to win the top prize. Mostly relying on the baseline tactics, she overcame the rival’s ability to move around the court faster with accurate passing shots. The SFH pair, M. Sarmiento and Basilio, displayed fine teamwork and clinched the top doubles award of this category by defeating the gallant and talented KFSH pair, J. Estero and J. Barbaton 6-1, 6-3.
In the last of the Flight-C2 category, Genevieve Chu of RKH-GICU sprang a pleasant surprise with a fine run to the championship, ending the hopes of the top seed M. Carido from KFSH. Displaying good fundamental skills, the former won 6-4, 6-1 to walk away with the top singles award. However, the final doubles encounter was the longest witnessed so far.
After two hours and thirty minutes, J. Espejon and M. Celera finally overcame J. Bunda and Chu in an extended tussle 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The new champions foray into the net and their consistency at the baseline made all the difference.
While the top seeds maintained their dominance in the top flights, some new faces like Flores in C1 and Chu in C2 also emerged.
At the awarding that followed, trophies and valuable prizes were given away to the winners. This event was sponsored by Power Horse Energy drink, Sarawat Superstore, Samba Speedcash, Anseri Cargo Services, Fila Sodas Sports, Coca Cola, Fortune Care Insurance and Racquet Shop.
The organizers aired words of thanks and gave recognition to the sponsors. In return, they praised the organizing, technical committees, participants and the fans for the great success of the tournament.