Cañiza Women’s Open tennis unwraps

La Carlota’s Alexa Milliam braces for a spirited battle against a slew of aces in both the individual and doubles competitions of the first PPS-PEPP Rina Cañiza Women’s Open.

Women’s tennis gets a big boost as the Rina Cañiza Women’s Open gets going Monday, Feb. 6, with a mix of veteran campaigners and rising stars slugging it out for top honors in individual competition and doubles play at the PCA outdoor courts in Paco, Manila.

La Carlota’s Alexa Milliam topbills the huge 64-player cast that includes Alexei Santos, Justine Maneja, Miles Vitaliano, Althea Ong, Mikaela Vicencio, Kryshana Brazal and Joanna Tan, all geared up in pursuit of 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 to further boost women’s tennis, help raise the level of play in their side of the battle and produce future national team players.

In fact, 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,” said Cañiza.

Other players tipped to contend for top honors in the event, held in partnership with the Philippine Columbian Association, are Nina Alcala, Dominique Malazarte, Jonamil Prado, Tracy Llamas, Beatrice Gomez, Nicole dela Rita, Sydney Enriquez and Shaira Rivera.

Meanwhile, action shifts to collegiate level as the National Collegiate Tennis Championship unfolds on Feb. 13, which will likewise 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 UTR (Universal Tennis Ranking) and UTP (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.