SISTERS Clarice and Christine Patrimonio share the limelight Tuesday as they begin their ladies singles campaign in the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier Wildcard Event at the PCA Open clay courts in Paco, Manila.
Clarice, the top seed, will pit her skills against Erika Manduriao, while seventh pick Christine faces off with Kimberly Keethler in the event supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, The Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
The Patrimonio sisters, who are looking to surpass their disappointing quarterfinals finishes in 2014, have never won a PCA title and the talented siblings have never been so eager to end the curse.
Last year, Clarice bowed to Hannah Grace Espinosa, 6-7 (0), 6-2, 3-6 while older sister Christine lost to 2014 champion Marian Jade Capadocia, 1-6, 4-6, in the tournament supported by Whilpool/Fujidenzo, Broadway Motor Sales Corp. Coca-Cola Fesma Philippines, Tyrecorp Incorporated, Pearl Garden Hotel, Metro Global Holdings Corporation, Avida, PVL Restaurant, Mary Grace Foods, Inc., Seno Hardware and Wire Rope Corporation.
Defending champ Capadocia however, failed to make the deadline this year.
Second seed Marinel Rudas is expected to cruise past Jana Exconde for a stab at the ladies, while not to be overlooked are Edilyn Balanga, Maia Balce, Sjaira Hope Rivera, Rafaella Villanueva, and Espinosa who will be joining the fray in the first round.
Balanga battles Precian Ever Rivera; Balce goes up against Princess Castillo, Rivera meets Ana Atangan, and Espinosa slugs it out against Monica Cortez.
Meantime, in men's doubles play, No. 8 Leander Lazaro and Marc Reyes defeated Paolo Baran and Jeric Delos Santos, 6-2, 6-4, to advance into the second round along with Andrew Tangalin and Jordan Villanueva who thrashed Renoso Valderama and Anhony Morante, 6-3, 6-1.
The tandem of Jimmy Tangalin and Marvelous Cortez came back from a shaky start to beat Arc Dolorito and Wilson Oblea, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 10-5, while Dave Mosqueda and Francis Dominic dominated Lanzado Lawrence Obdina and Mark Clarence Cabahug, right off the start, 6-3, 6-1.
Abson Alejandre and Chris Prulla, Fritz Verdad and Al Michael Madrio, Raffy Santiago and Raymond Diaz, Jigo Pena and Francis Edilbert Alcantara, Engelbert Dionisio and Bernard Arce, and Ralph Antonio and Claudio Canlas got off to easy walkover wins.
The No. 1 tandem of Patrick John Tierro and Johnny Arcilla, No. 2 Marc Alcoseba and Elbert Anasta, No. 3 Ronard Joven and Francis Casey Alcantara, and No. 4 Roel Capangpangan and Joseph Arcilla are granted opening-round byes.
Men's singles action resumes on Wednesday.
The finalists in the men’s singles will earn automatic berths in the main draw of the upcoming 2015 Manila International Tennis Federation (ITF) Men’s Futures Leg 2 slated on October 2, while the players who make the quarterfinals and semifinals will gain access to the qualifying round.
Only the winners in the doubles division will be given spots in the ITF main 16-pair main draw.
A total of P172,000 is up for grabs this year with the men’s single champ taking the top purse of P50,000, while the runner-up gets P25,000. The ladies singles titlist and runner-up will take home P20,000 and P10,000, respectively.