Veteran campaigner Patrick John Tierro will spearhead the country’s campaign in the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier ITF Men’s Futures 2 beginning today at the PCA clay courts in Paco, Manila.
The 30-year-old Tierro is expected to put up a stellar performance against the foreign players who flew in from all over the world to compete in the tournament supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, The Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
Newly crowned PCA Open champion Alberto Lim Jr. won’t be seeing action due to sickness.
“This is a different playing field. I need to be focused in each and every game,” said Tierro, who fell victim in the hands of Lim, 6-3, 7-6 (5), in the men’s singles finals a couple of weeks ago.
Joining Tierro in the main draw are former Australian Open juniors doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara, eight-time PCA Open titlist Johnny Arcilla, Australian Open juniors quarterfinalist Jeson Patrombon, veteran campaigner Elbert Anasta, and qualifiers Diego Garcia Dalisay, Rolando Ruel and Bryan Otico.
“I am very excited for this year’s edition of the PCA Open being an ITF Men’s Futures. This will provide our players the opportunity to improve their world ranking and gives them the much needed exposure against world class competition. This will also help us in our preparations for the Davis Cup matches next year,” said Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier, who also serves as chairman of board of the Philippine Lawn Tennis Association.
Among the world-class netters who are standing in the way of the national bets are Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain, Kento Takeuchi of Japan and Vinayak Sharma Kaza of India. They will be joined Ilya Vasilyev of Russia, Kunal Anand of India, Yu Cheng-Yu, Liang Wen-Chun, Lin Wei-De and Lee Kuan-Yi of Chinese-Taipei, and Arata Onozawa, Makoto Ochi, Hiromasa Oku, Katsuki Nagao, Masato Shiga, Issei Okamura and Ren Nakamura of Japan.
In doubles play, the powerhouse tandem of Tierro and Johnny Arcilla will also be seeing action after they clinched an automatic berth in the 16-pair main draw after disposing off Francis Casey Alcantara and Ronard Joven, 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 in the doubles finals.
Meanwhile, Japanese Soichiro Moritani, Malaysian Wei Seem Lee, Australian Harry Bourchier and Taiwanese Chen Tin made it to the main draw after beating their respective foes in the qualifying round of the event sponsored by Whirlpool/Fujidenzo, Broadway Motor Sales Corp. Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines, Tyrecorp Incorporated, Pearl Garden Hotel, Metro Global Holdings Corporation, Avida, PVL Restaurant, Mary Grace Foods, Inc., Seno Hardware and Wire Rope Corporation.
Moritani clobbered Filipino Noel Damian, 6-2, 6-0; Lee blasted Indian Arpit Sharma, 6-2, 6-2; Bourchier defeated Japanese Yusei Fukuoka, 6-1, 6-4; and Chen trounced Filipino Roel Capangpangan, 6-2, 6-3.
A total of $15,000 US dollars is up for grabs with the champion getting $2,160 where as the runner-up will take home $1,272.