WOMEN’S tennis gets a big boost as the Rina Cañiza Women’s Open gets going Monday with a mix of veteran campaigners and rising stars slugging it out for top honors in individual competition and doubles play at the Philippine Columbian Association outdoor courts in Paco, Manila.
La Carlota’s Alexa Milliam heads the 64-player cast that includes Alexei Santos, Justine Maneja, Miles Vitaliano, Althea Ong, Mikaela Vicencio, Kryshana Brazal and Joanna Tan.
They are all after the top P50,000 prize staked in singles and another P50,000 in doubles competition of the week-long Group A event presented by Dunlop.
A former national player and an active club campaigner, Cañiza is partnering with the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) to further boost women’s tennis, help raise the level of play in their side of the battle and produce future national team players.
Cañiza and the PPS-PEPP, led by Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro, are putting up a six-leg circuit with two tournaments each to be held in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
“Our goal is to boost women’s tennis in line with the PPS junior program. We always believe there’s a lot of players, particularly in the countryside, waiting to be tapped, trained and developed into becoming future stars,” Cañiza said.
Other players tipped to contend for top honors in the event, held in partnership with the PCA, are Nina Alcala, Dominique Malazarte, Jonamil Prado, Tracy Llamas, Beatrice Gomez, Nicole dela Rita, Sydney Enriquez and Shaira Rivera.
Action shifts to collegiate level as the National Collegiate Tennis Championship unfolds on February 13, which will also feature individual and team plays, also at the PCA courts. For details, contact tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.
Aside from the money purse, also offered in the Cañiza Women’s Open are ranking points from the Universal Tennis Ranking and United Tennis Philippines with the singles runner-up to receive P25,000. The semifinalists will pocket P10,000 each while the quarterfinalists will get P5,000 each.
Those will reach the Top 16 will receive P2,500 each while the qualifiers will get P1,500 each.
The doubles winners will split the top P50,000 purse with the runners-up to get P25,000 and the semifinalist and quarterfinalists to pocket P10,000 and P5,000 each, respectively.
Bannering the doubles cast are Mae Bornia-Rivera; Alcala-Aileen Rogen; Santos-Vitaliano; Maneja-Elmira Pagot; Ong-Chelsea Roque, Chloe Mercado-Milliam; Divinagracia-Tan; and Mae Cervantes-Malazarte.