Filipino netter Pantino loses in China Juniors tournament

MANILA — Filipino tennis player Arthur Craig Pantino bowed out of the China Juniors Tennis Championships on Sunday after losing to top seed Chinese Wu Yibing in the boys’ singles semifinal round at the National Tennis Centre in Beijing.

The 15-year-old Cebuano absorbed a 4-6, 0-6 defeat from Wu, who has played in the Wimbledon, French Open and Australian Open Juniors this year.

Pantino, the country’s No. 1 player in the 16-under category, marched into the semifinal after beating Chinese qualifier Yang Mingyuan, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in the first round; Russian Egor Noskin, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round; and third-seeded Taiwanese Hsu Yu Hsiou, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2) in the quarterfinal.

The China Juniors was the sixth international tournament this year for Pantino, who also played in Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Last week, Pantino competed in the Guangzhou leg of the China Juniors where he reached the singles round of 16 and the doubles quarterfinal with Alester Magalit of Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Filipino John Bryan Decasa Otico and Korean Sung Yohan also advanced to the boys’ doubles semifinal round but lost to second seeds Moerani Bouzige of Austria and Hsu Yu Hsiou of Chinese Taipei, 2-6, 1-6.

To reach the semifinal, Otico and Sung won over Chinese pair He Xiaoyu and Lu Pengyu, 7-5, 6-2 in the first round and Chinese tandem Fan Chong Yuan and Liu Yi Zhou, 2-6, 6-3 (10-3) in the quarterfinal.