THE country’s top tennis players take centerstage when the 32nd edition of the Philippine Columbian Association Open Championships kick off on Saturday at the PCA shell courts in Plaza Dilao, Paco, Manila.
The longest running tournament in the country presented by Cebuana Lhuillier, offers P100,000 to the men’s singles champion and P50,000 to the winner in the distaff side.
Many-time Philippine Davis Cupper Johnny Arcilla will be gunning for his eighth title but will be up against a formidable field that includes Marc Sieber, Patrick John Tierro, Francis Casey Alcantara, Onyok Anasta, Jeson Patrombon, and rising star Albert Lim Jr.
In the women’s division, defending champion Marian Jade Capadocia is eyeing her third straight crown against a tough field of contenders led by last year’s finalist Fil-German Katharina Lehnert, Anna Clarice Patrimonio, Edilyn Balanga, and Marinel Rudas.
Alvin Dans, chairman of the organizing committee, said this year’s staging has attracted more than 500 players.
“This is the culmination of all tennis events in the country and the best talents in adults and juniors are here. Philippine tennis is growing and hopefully we can generate good players who will also play in the national team,” said Cebuana Lhuillier President/CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier during Monday’s formal launching.
“The PCA Open is the longest and biggest tennis competition in the country. We hope that this year, we will see ATP players participate in this tournament with the help of Mr. Lhuillier,” Dans added.
Philippine Tennis Association vice-president Randy Villanueva said US-based Filipinos Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales would be invited to play in the PCA Open.
“Huey and Gonzales are playing for the national team in the South East Asian Invitationals in Bangkok, Thailand from November 22 to 27. We might make them come over for the PCA Open,” said Villanueva.
Qualifying for the men's and women's Open will be from November 25-29, with the main draw to begin on November 30. Other events featured are juniors (November 9-17), intercollege boys at girls (November 6-8), Pro-AM doubles (December 2-7), Team Tennis, Executive Team Tennis and Executive Individual Doubles.