Top-ranked tennis players vie for spots in Cebuana Lhuillier’s WTA Future Stars

Sixteen of the country’s most promising young tennis players are set to face each other during an action-packed qualifier in a bid to earn the right to represent the Philippines in the 2016 WTA Future Stars tournament in Singapore.

Sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association (PhilTA), the Cebuana Lhuillier Girls’ 14-under and 16-under Tennis Challenge will be headlined by the country’s best young Filipina players as only the top 8 of each category based on PhilTA rankings have been invited to compete.

Top seed of girls 14-under and 16-under categories–Alexandra Eala and Carlyn Bless Guarde, respectively—are joining the tournament along with the other qualified players.

Macie Carlos, Miles Vitaliano, Sydney Ezra Enriquez, Minette April Bentillo, Bliss Bayking, Ellaine Rose Bahonsua, and Kiana Louis De Asis complete the list of those competing under the 14-under category.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Abarquez, Mary Aubrey Calma, Gennifer Lysandra Pagente, Tracy Cheldette Llamas, Rachelle Patricia Velez, Melanie Faye Dizon, and Rafael Jean Villanueva are joining Guarde in the 16-under category.

“This tournament is an attempt to legitimize the whole process of determining the athletes that will best represent our country in an international and prestigious tennis competition. Through this qualifying tournament, we hope to have better and higher chances of taking home the trophy for the WTA Future Stars tournament this year,” PhilTA Chairman of the Board and Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier said.

The eight players for each category will battle each other in a “masters” type format where they will be divided into two groups. Players will compete on a round robin basis per group. The top two from each group will advance in the crossover semi-finals tournament.

The two winners will then play in the finals and the winner of each category will automatically earn the right to represent the Philippines in the upcoming WTA Future Stars tournament in Singapore in October.

“The WTA commends Cebuana Lhuillier for its efforts in organizing a national tournament for the Philippines’ finest junior players. It is with such support that an initiative like the WTA Future Stars can fulfill its maximum potential to encourage the next generation to pursue their passion in tennis. I am thrilled that these two young players will gain amazing experience as they represent the Philippines to compete against their peers from the region and also get to meet with their favourite WTA stars during the event.” said Melissa Pine, Vice-President of WTA Asia-Pacific and Tournament Director of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

The Cebuana Lhuillier Girls’ 14-under and 16-under Tennis Challenge is slated on September 16 to 18, 2016 at Valle Verde Country Club, Pasig City.