PHILIPPINES Shaira Hope Rivera and Marian Jade Capadocia lost the play-off final, 1-2, of their FedCup Group 2 Asia/Oceania Zone B match against host country at the Renouf Tennis Centre in Wellington, New Zealand over the weekend.
Former Davao City standout 20-year-old Rivera, who was born in Davao de Oro, formerly Compostela Valley, bowed to 18-year-old Kiwi Velantina Ivanov, 5-7, 1-6, in the first rubber single.
Ivanov was up, 5-2, but Rivera rallied to force a deadlock at 5-all. The former outlasted the latter to seal the first set. Ivanov then kept the momentum in the second to easily wrap up the match.
Top female Filipino netter Capadocia, for her part, succumbed to Paige Hourigan, 2-6, 3-6, in the second rubber single.
However, Rivera and Capadocia combined forces to overcome Emily Fanning and Kelly Southwood, 6-3, 4-6, 11-9 in the doubles.
FedCup newbie Rivera, an AB English Literature sophomore at the Ateneo de Manila University, on her Facebook post, said: “Had a great week here in Wellington, New Zealand with my team. We did our best, played our hearts out and blissfully made it to the finals. Our heartfelt gratitude to our Filipino friends here in New Zealand for supporting us, and our friends back in Phil who as well showed their support by encouraging us with words and prayers. Thank you, Philippine Tennis Academy for helping me to be prepared in this tournament. Coach Ken Salvo, Jun Toledo, Tito Tonico, tito Andy Maglipon and Tito Rommie. Thank you, Everyone!”
The Philippines swept all their other matches against Thailand (2-1) on February 6, Turkmenistan (3-0) on February 7 and Guam (3-0) on February 4.
Rivera, who studied at Sta. Ana National High School in Davao City after her birth place then Compostela Valley was hardly hit by Typhoon Pablo, and Capadocia both competed in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines.