Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation one of the country’s leading automotive manufacturer together with the International Tennis Federation, Philippine Tennis Association and thru its major sponsor the renowned sports brand, Accel in cooperation with Dunlop and Gatorade once more collaborated to make possible one of the grandest international junior tennis tournament, the Mitsubishi Lancer International Junior Tennis Championship (MLIJTC).
Considered as one of the biggest juniors’ tournaments in Asia and the longest running tennis tournament in the Philippines, the MLIJTC will once again hit sports headlines this year. With top netters on the roll, country’s pride Jeson Petrombon, Slovakia’s Filip Horansky, Australia’s Andrew Whittington, Indy De Vroome of The Netherlands, So-Ra Lee of Korea, Eri Hozumi of Japan and more the 22nd MLIJTC is expected to be a lot tougher and more exciting. Jeson Patrombon who ranks a world’s number 9 junior tennis player is the highest Filipino netter since Felix Barrientos made it to No. 4 in the 1980s. Junior tennis tournaments give chance to junior tennis players to establish world ranking and International Tennis Federation ranking. This international tournament will be participated by 48 girls and 48 boys coming from more than 30 countries.
For more than 20 years, this tournament has come a long way in producing more and more of the world’s tennis superstars and helping junior tennis players achieve a world ranking. Lleyton Hewitt the youngest male tennis player to rank as number one and recognized as one of the 40 greatest tennis players since 1965 by Tennis Magazine, American Andy Roddick who was currently 6th ranked player in the world and top-ranked in the US, and Leander Paes of India were some of the top tennis players that this tourney has witnessed and likewise produced. And our very own Francis Casey “Niño” Alcantara who gave honor to the country by achieving a Grand Slam in last year’s Australian Open. And this year world’s No. 9 Jeson Petrombon is the country’s bet.
To make this year’s MLIJTC more significant, a free tennis clinic will be opened to all, ages 18 years old and below. National coaches Chris Cuarto, Roland Kraut and Karl Sta. Ana will personally share their expertise and train participants. Interested future tennis players may register at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on the day of the clinic. Free tennis clinic is scheduled on March 26-27. Registration starts at 7:00 am. MMPC will also give 20 Ralliart backpacks to the first 20 registrants.
“We are inviting everyone to witness this annual international tournament which will commence on March 22 and will run until March 27 at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center- Rizal Memorial Stadium located in Malate Manila. Admission is free! I am also very excited as this will be the first year that we are offering a free tennis clinic with country’s top coaches, Mr. Masahiko Ueki, MMPC president said. “It is a privilege for us to become a part of these “soon to be tennis superstars” road to their athletic career. With this year’s line-up of players we are expecting more action, excitement and fun in the hard court”, Mr. Masahiko Ueki, added.