PORT MORESBY, July 16 – Two generations of sisters will face off in Thursday’s women’s doubles final at Steamships Racquets Club.
Abigail and Marcia Tere-Apisah (PNG) will take on nieces Patricia and Violet Apisah (PNG) in the highly anticipated clash.
In Wednesday’s semifinals Abigail and Marcia Tere-Apisah posted a comfortable victory on court 2, winning 6-3, 6-0 over Estelle Tehau and Mayka Tehani Zima (TAH).
“We are really excited to make it to the women’s doubles finals for the second time,” Abigail Tere-Apisah said. “Hopefully we can defend the title again, we are really confident.”
On court 3 the younger Apisah siblings, Patricia and Violet, overcame Yaelle Honakoko and Ana Pain (NCL) in a three-set thriller.
The Apisah sisters served beautifully to win the first set 6-2 before Honakoko/Pain fought back to claim the second 6-4. The third set went to a tie-break with the Apisah sisters eventually taking it 14-12.
“The first set we won pretty easily, and in the second set we just kind of relaxed, laid back and they brought it to us,” admitted Violet Apisah.
“We are not nervous (about facing aunties Abigail and Marcia in the final) because we know how they play and all that, so we just going to go out and give it our best,” said Patricia Apisah.
In Wednesday’s mixed doubles final seniority shone through as favourites Mark Gibbons and Abigail Tere-Apisah (PNG) defeated teammates Matthew Stubbing and Violet Apisah (PNG) 6-3, 7-5.
In the first set the elder pair of Gibbons/Tere-Apisah left no room for return serves from youngsters Stubbing/Apisah, winning 6-3.
In the second set Stubbing/Apisah hit some crunching returns but it was not enough to win the match, and they were forced to settle for silver.
Gold medallist Tere-Apisah was relieved to get the win after a hard-fought second set.
“Oh my gosh, I just wanted to win that point. And then we won it. I was so excited, it made me cry,” said Tere-Apisah.
“But those other two, they did very well. I just didn’t want to lose.”
Gibbons was also over the moon. “I waited 39 years to get this gold,” he told the Games News Service.
The bronze medal match, which was expected to feature two pairs from New Caledonia, did not proceed due to an injury withdrawal. The walkover win and bronze medal was awarded to Guillaume Monot and Yaelle Honakoko (NCL).