Mitsubishi junior tennis draws record cast
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - March 5, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Mitsubishi Lancer International Juniors Tennis Championship marks its 25th staging with a record field of 32 countries slugging it out for top honors beginning March 16 at the newly refurbished Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

Entries from the US, Australia, Great Britain, Serbia, Russia, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, among others, are seeing action in the week-long meet considered one of the longest running junior tournaments in the country now on its 25th year.

Officials of both the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines jointly made the announcement in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.

“This tournament is a high-level competition that is almost at par with Grand Slam tennis,” said Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, who is also president of Philta.

Olivarez was with Philta vice president Randy Villanueva, secretary general Romeo Magat, former Philta president and now sports commissioner Buddy Andrada along with Mitsubishi Motors Philippines vice president for marketing services Froilan Dytianquin and senior manager for advertising and PR Arlan Reyes in the forum presented by Shakey’s, Accel, and Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp.

As host of the meet that served as spawning grounds of future tennis stars such as Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Maricris Fernandez, Jennifer Saret among others, the country has been given a total of 11 wildcard berths to the main draw, where rising Filipino netter Albert Lim was the only one given outright slot in the 48-man main draw on the strength of his International Tennis Federation (ITF) ranking of No. 174.

Five berths were allotted for Filipinos in the boys division and six in the girls’ class.

Magat said among those possibly to be given entries in the main draw are Eric Olivarez Jr., and either among John Bryan Decasa, Joachim Samson, Dave Sebastian Mosqueda, Andrew Joshua Cano, Jerome Romualdez, Stafan Agustin Suarez, and Vince Russel Salas.

Among the girls, Roxanne May Resma leads the possible field together with Khim Iglupas, Maia Bernadette Balce, Maria Dominique Ong, Meredith Jones, Andrea Nicole Amistad, Maria Angela Sunga, Monica Therese Cruz and Frances Angelica Santiago.   

Qualifying matches are set March 16-17.

Among the fancied bets seeing action in this year’s edition of the meet are world No. 13 Duck Hee Lee of Korea, No. 30 Harry Bourchier of Australia, and Japanese Ken Onishi of Japan (No. 33).

No. 10 Shilin Xu of China is favoured in the distaff side along with compatriot Ziyue Sun, and No. 19 Kiatie Boulter of Great Britain.

“We always wanted to prioritize the youth, hoping the tournament will continue to become a venue for our local aspiring tennis players to become more competitive in the future,” said Dytianquin.

ALBERT LIM ANDREA NICOLE AMISTAD ANDREW JOSHUA CANO ANDY RODDICK ARLAN REYES BUDDY ANDRADA CITY MAYOR EDWIN OLIVAREZ DAVE SEBASTIAN MOSQUEDA MITSUBISHI MOTORS PHILIPPINES PHILTA
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