THE country’s top players in the girls’ 14- and 16-and-under age division slug it out for berths in the 2017 WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) Future Stars Finals in the Philippine qualifying tournament beginning Friday at the Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig.
Last year’s winner Alexandra Eala banners the 14-U side again this year but faces a tougher challenge with a talent-laden cast headed by Macie Carlos, Sydney Enriquez, Alexa Milliam, Minette Bentillo, Gabrielle Zoleta, Juliah Ignacio and Justine Maneja.
A tight battle also looms in the 16-U division of the three-day tournament sanctioned by the United Tennis Philippines with last year’s finalist Carlyn Guarde up against Elizabeth Abarquez, Tracy Llamas, Danna Abad, Winona Cabardo, Gennifer Pagente, Jazzelle Madis and Kiana de Asis.
“We are thrilled to, once again, have an event that will identify the country’s flag bearers to the 2017 WTA Future Stars next month in Singapore. The winners will come face to face with the best tennis players in their respective categories from other countries, so it is important that we keep the level of competition high here and send only the best from our turf,” said UTP co-founder and Cebuana Lhuillier president and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier.
The WTA Future Stars qualifier will feature the top eight singles and doubles players in each age group as ranked by Unified Tennis Philippines as of August 2017. They will be divided into two groups with the top two players from each side advancing to the crossover semifinals. Winners will dispute the crowns and berths in the WTA Future Stars set Oct. 16-23 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.