IN a bid to continue developing fresh Filipino tennis talents, Unified Tennis Philippines (UTP) is forming the 2019 UTP National Juniors Tennis Team, which will represent the country in International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) tournaments.
“We are helping our top junior players compete in international competitions to further hone their skills as they are the future of Philippine tennis. We hope that this year’s team will be equally successful as last year’s batch,” UTP President Jean Henri Lhuillier said.
The cut-off period for the ITF and ATF tournaments is from June 1, 2018 to May 31 this year. The top two players of the Boys and Girls 18 and 16 Under category will be selected for an ITF tournament while the top two players of the Boys and Girls 14 and Under category will be sent to an ATF tournament.
UTP is also doing a similar search for representatives to the WTA Future Stars Girls 14 and 16 Under category through the Cebuana Lhuillier Girls Tennis Challenge. The top 8 ranked girls in both categories from January 1, to August 31, will play in a round robin competition this September and the champions will be sent to the WTA Future Stars tournament in its new host country in Shenzhen, China.
Last year, UTP formed several teams that played in Malaysia and Indonesia and were successful in producing winners with the Eala siblings Alex and Miko reaching the finals of the AGS-ITF in Indonesia. In the Sarawak 13th ATF 14 and under series, Johndy Velez won the Boy’s Singles, Rupert Tortal and Brent Cortes won the Boy’s Doubles and Alexa Milliam won both the Girl’s Singles and Doubles titles.