Defending champion Patrick John Tierro will start his title-retention bid today when the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier Wildcard Event gets underway today at the newly-renovated PCA Open clay courts in Paco, Manila.
Tierro expects tough competition in the men’s singles division as he goes up against eight-time titlist Johnny Arcilla and former Australian Open juniors champ Francis Casey Alcantara, who are both raring to brush past him in the tournament supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI, Saranggani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Whilpool/Fujidenzo, Broadway Motor Sales Corp. Coca-Cola Fesma Philippines, Tyrecorp Incorporated, Pearl Garden Hotel and Metro Global Holdings Corporation.
While Arcilla remains a threat as he tries to reclaim his crown, Tierro still keeps a wary eye on the younger Alcantara, who thwarted his title bid in the Olivarez Cup finals last month.
With automatic slots in the 2015 Manila International Tennis Federation (ITF) Men’s Futures Leg 2 at stake, the upcoming battles in the men’s division are predicted to be one for the books.
“We at Cebuana Lhuillier are excited to renew our commitment to support PCA Open especially with this year’s edition being an international laden tournament. This will provide our top players the chance to test their mettle against some of the world’s best players and improve their world rankings,” said Cebuana Lhuillier President/CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier.
“Their experience here will serve them in good stead when they represent our country in international competitions such as Davis Cup, SEAGames and Asian Games,” he added.
The two finalists in the men’s singles class will earn their ticket in the main draw, while the players who make it into the quarterfinals and semifinals will have a chance to compete in the qualifying stage when the ITF event unfurls on October 2 in the PCA courts in Paco, Manila.
In the doubles division, only the winning duo will be given a slot in the 16-pair main draw.
Veteran players Alberto Lim Jr. Elbert Anasta, Kyle Joshua Dandan, Marc Reyes, Jurence Mendoza and Jeson Patrombon will also showcase their remarkable skill set for the available spots in the ITF Men’s Futures Leg 2.
The ladies’ singles, on the other hand, will begin on September 22 with the formidable Patrimonio sisters – Anna Christine and Anna Clarice – leading the participants. Equally-impressive Khim Iglupas, Roxanne Resma, Edilyn Balanga, Marinel Rudas, Mae Siso, Hannah Espinosa, Maia Balce and Erika Manduriao will also pit their skills.
Four-time champion Marian Jade Capadocia won’t be seeing action after failing to beat the deadline set by the organizing committee.