MANILA, Philippines - The men’s and women’s champions in the coming Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open tennis championships will get automatic slots in the 2012 Australian Open tune-up events.
PCA Open chair and national Davis Cup non-playing captain Roland Kraut announced the extra incentive Tuesday when he appeared as guest during the PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate along with Fil-Am Cupper Ruben Gonzales and junior hotshot Jurence Zosimo Mendoza.
Kraut said the Open champions earn slots in the Kia Amateur Australian Open in the run-up for the first Grand Slam event of the tennis season. But the slots would be for amateurs 18-years-old and above, meaning if the winners happen to have pro circuit rankings, the next best players based on the results will earn the berths.
He also bared the 31st PCA Open, which kicks off its main draw on Dec. 1 and supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, will have the “best field ever in men’s division” as the country’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament will feature the top Filipino players both homegrown and based abroad, for the first time in recent years.
Fil-German Marc Sieber, the 2010 men’s singles champion and ranked 516th in the world, is the top seed, followed by Gonzales who carries an 821 ranking in singles and 295 in doubles. Six-time champion Johnny Arcilla is seeded No. 3, while fellow Cupper and reigning Philta titlist Elbert Anasta is fourth pick.
Australian Open 2010 juniors singles quarterfinals Jeson Patrombon, ranked 1,052nd in the world, is seeded fifth, former national stalwart PJ Tierro sixth, World No. 35 in doubles and 1,082nd in singles Treat Huey seventh, and Rolando Ruel eighth.
Also seeing action are 2009 Australian Open Juniors Champion Francis Casey Alcantara, teenaged sensation and last year’s men’s singles runner-up Jurence Zosimo Mendoza and 2009 runner-up Fil-Italian Marc Reyes. Indonesian Cupper Adrian Raturandang and Thai Sylvester Alamdar will also join the fray.
Fil-German Katharina Lehnert, world’s No. 444, is women’s top seed while 2012 Philta Open champ Clarice Patrimonio is seeded second.
Defending champion Marian Jade Capadocia is third seed. Also competing are former finalist Christine Patrimonio, Fil-Am Toby Miclat and teenaged standout Maika Tanpoco.
Meanwhile, Cebuana Lhuillier’s Jean Henri Lhuillier added P100,000 to the total prize pot. The men’s champ will get P100,000, runner up P50,000, while women’s titlist will win P50,000 and runner up P25,000.
Calvin Canlas bagged the Kia PCA Open age-group 18-under title after beating Joshua Cano, 6-3, 6-3, while Capadocia stamped her class on Rachel de Guzman, 6-1, 6-1 for the 18-under girls crown. Other winners were LA Canizares in boys 16-under, Brian Otico in boys?14-under, Norman Gaspar in boys 12-under, Michael Eala in unisex 10-under, Jzash Canja in girls 16-under, Monica Cruz in girls 14-under and Chloe Saraza in girls 12-under.