Instead of following the footsteps of his legendary cager father, Anna Christine Patrimonio chose tennis ˚as her sport.”
The 24-year old Patrimonio, or “Tin” to her family and friends, is the second child of Philippine Basketball Association legend Alvin Patrimonio and Cindy Cowi Patrimonio.
A graduating Marketing Management student at the National University (NU), Patrimonio recalled playing basketball but discovered she was not cut out for it.
“I tried to play basketball but I did not like it because it’s much of a physical game,” Patrimonio told The Manila Times.
She then fell in love with tennis, which she said is more suited to her mental and physical attributes.
“Tennis is an individual sport. Nothing physical though you really need to train hard and be mentally tough.”
“Tennis is very challenging and I like challenges,” she said.
Patrimonio added that her father did not pressure her to follow the same path as his.
“No pressure. I love the sport that is why I enjoyed most of the time. I don’t think there’s pressure.”
Patrimonio’s introduction to tennis came at the age of nine through a video game called Virtual Tennis. She started playing real tennis at 10 with her younger sister Clarice, who was eight then. Both are currently members of the NU tennis team.
Patrimonio led the Lady Bulldogs to three consecutive University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) tennis championships from 2013 to 2015.
She was also named Most Valuable Player in the UAAP Season 78 women’s lawn tennis tournament. Patrimonio is now spending her last playing year in the UAAP while Clarice is on her third year.
Patrimonio narrated that a taste of showbiz affected her quality of play. She said she joined the reality TV show Pinoy Big Brother: Unlimited in 2011, and noticed afterward that her explosiveness as an athlete was lessened.
“After I entered Kuya’s [Pinoy Big Brother] house, I felt my play become gentle,” recalled Patrimonio.
She said she is now devoting more time to physical conditioning, adding that she’s still undecided whether to pursue a career as a professional tennis player or start her own business after graduation.
“I am not sure if I will have the opportunity to pursue a career [as a pro tennis player]after graduation.”
“I’m trying to. But actually, it is tough to be a pro tennis player. You really need to have a team of coaches, physical trainer, sports psychologist and a nutritionist.”
“But like I said, I do not disregard the chance and I am still open to pursue a tennis career,” said Patrimonio.
She admitted that her younger sister Clarice who idolizes her as a netter, is more active in the sport. Clarice’s role models in tennis are international superstars Roger Federer and Garbiñe Muguruza.
Patrimonio offers a piece of advice to young and aspiring tennis players: “to love the sport and second, to work very, very hard.”
“It is also important to focus on your education since it will be the key to enter good schools and get scholarships,” she concluded.