The PCA Open, the country's premier tennis tournament, has withdrawn its support for the Philippine Tennis Association following its officials' decision to postpone the scheduled elections last March 24.
Philta secretary-general Romeo Magat announced the postponement to the rest of the board members, prompting stakeholders to pull out their tournaments from the Philta calendar, including the PCA Open, the biggest annual tournament in the country.
Palawan Pawnshop and Cebuana Lhuillier, which stage the two biggest age-group meets in the country, have earlier cut their ties with Philta with Toby’s Sports, Babolat, Dunlop, Tru Flex National Age-Group, Henry Sr. Memorial Age Group and B-MEg following suit.
Meanwhile, a group of stakeholders behind the unified tennis calendar, has announced the formation of six junior national teams – Under-18, Under-16 and Under-14 for both boys and girls.
The squads will be sponsored by these stakeholders to compete in International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) junior tournaments.
The stakeholders will also be sponsoring representatives to the WTA Future Stars tournament in Singapore in coordination with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
“I am here to help our Filipino tennis players and the rest of the stakeholders. So we are moving on with programs such as the formation of the junior national teams, which we think will be beneficial to the development of tennis in the Philippines,” said longtime tennis patron Jean Henri Lhuillier, who is being groomed for the Philta presidency.
“We will ensure that the growth of tennis in the Philippines will be continuous even with the pending issues of Philta,” he added.
Lhuillier is also the Philippine Davis Cup team manager for more than 10 years and the man behind the decade-old Cebuana Lhuillier Age Group tennis circuit.
POC had earlier declared null and void the presidential elections held last July 2016 and Feb. 2017 which were contested by Lhuillier and Philta vice-president Randy Villanueva.