Villanueva, Cruz joining WTA event
TWO OF the country’s most promising junior tennis players, Rafaella Villanueva and Monica Therese Cruz, will represent the Philippines in the first-ever WTA Future Stars slated Oct. 17 to 19 in Singapore.
Villanueva and Cruz topped the qualifying in the 16-under and 14-under categories, respectively to earn a shot at their counterparts in the Asia Pacific including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
Both girls made it through the Olivarez Open age group held recently.
The 13-year-old Villanueva, a seventh grader from De La Salle-Zobel, is currently training in Bangkok in the ITF/ATF tennis camp of former Davis Cupper Dominik Utzinger.
She also had sessions with Thai tennis superstars—Wimbledon ladies’ open quarterfinalist Tamarine Tanasugarn, and former World No. 10 Paradorn Scrichapan.
Cruz, on the other hand, is honing her skills in Sri Lanka where she just ruled the Asian 14-under championships week 1. She is also competing in week 2.
The Future of Stars, which is being launched to promote women’s tennis in the grassroots level, will coincide with the WTA Finals where elite players like Serena WIlliams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova will see action.
Aside from the competition and the chance to rub elbows with reigning champions of the sport, the participants in the two age-groups will also take part in different activities in Singapore.
The event will be held at Kailang Tennis Center and the WTA Finals at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Villanueva and Cruz will also banner the Philippine team in the junior Southeast Asian Championships also in Singapore, and will be joined by Cebuano pride Arthur Craig Pantino.
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