5 Filipino tennis hotshots to fanboy over
Barry Viloria on Dec 08, 2015 05:18 AM
For fans of the sport who have a soft spot for homegrown talent, these young (good-looking) racket wielders bring in the love (Photo taken from Trea Huey's Twitter)
For a basketball-crazy country like the Philippines, tennis usually comes as a specialized sports event whose scope of fandom is limited to those willing to burn the midnight oil just to catch the Wimbledon live. That just means it’s got a strong niche here, if the ongoing International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) at MOA Arena isn’t proof enough. Plus, the emergence of the following young, local netters who have made the country proud with well-deserved accolades they’ve scored in recent international tourneys. Of course, their being good-looking got us drawn, too.
Get to know them more here!
Many got magnetized when the then-19 year-old posed sexily for men’s lifestyle magazine Men’s Health middle of this year, but Maika has already assumed the athletic lifestyle long before that. She discovered tennis at two, when she and her dad caught a match between Steffi Graf and Monica Seles on cable. She would later sign up at the Tennis Academy of the Philippines Foundation—a move that saw her level of competitive play leap. Over time, she has joined eight pro tournaments abroad (in 2012, a champ at the Summit Planners Singapore ITF Junior Championships women’s division; and third placer at the 2012 Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group II Play-offs) and has made a name for herself locally (in 2013, four golds at the POC-PSC Philippine National Games; and a silver at the Philippine Columbian Association Open). She has ranked 160 in the International Tennis Federation under-18 as well. Temporarily off tennis, Maika now practices her knowledge in gemology (“the study of precious stones”) from the Gemological Institute of America, California, through her recently put-up line of pearl accessories called JaeJaune.
Tin and Clarice Patrimonio
We never seem to get enough of tennis prodigy Tin simply because—how often is it that you encounter a really pretty face in sports? Then, came into the picture her equally striking but shyer sister Clarice, who has joined TIn in her journey to a back-to-back tennis championship in UAAP Season 77. Now, for Season 78, the twosome is keen on making sure the NU Bulldogs keep the crown—while aiming for their third title in a row. Tin and Clarice obviously took their love for sports from their father, famed PBA player Alvin Patrimonio. When they were younger, they even trained in TenisVal in Valencia, Spain, a tennis academy known for breeding star players. In the middle of swapping MVP honors in the UAAP, representing the Philippines in the Fed Cup, and securing the Olivarez Open Women's doubles title together, the sisters have remained close—Tin, pegging Clarice as the Philippines’ Maria Sharapova; Clarice, pegging her Ate as Serena Williams.
Nope, she’s not Maria Sharapova. At least, not yet. While her forehand and beauty may have earned her praise and justified points of comparison to her idol Masha, Katharina, who’s just 22, is fast making her own mark in the tennis world. Katharina was born in Braunschweig to a German father and a Filipino mother, who was a teacher hailing from La Union. Where’d she get her interest in sports, you ask? Might have been picked up from her dad who was a football club player. Katharina has played in the Wimbledon and French Open Juniors. She recently scored her third ITF title at the $10,000 Sharm El Sheik in Egypt. This year, she extended her tennis influence by representing the Philippines at the 2015 Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group II where the country came close to a promotion to Group I. She brought honor to the country again at the 28th SEA Games, where she won two silvers and a bronze. She is currently ranked 404 by the ITF.
Here’s our pambato to the Rafa Nadals and Novak Djokoviks in the tennis sphere, complete with the cone-shaped nose and five o’clock shadow. Filipino-American Treat, who hails from Alexandria, Virginia, has competed in various international competitions including the ATP World Tour. He’s got titles attached to his name including the 2012 Citi Open, 2013 Swiss Indoors, 2014 Aegon International, and, for 2015, Estoril Open, St. Petersburg Open, and Malaysian Open. Treat currently leads the Philippine Mavericks as its playing coach at the IPTL. He recently put his doubles dexterity to use teaming up with world number 1 Serena Williams—despite losing at the mixed doubles to Leander Paes and Pierre-Hugues Hebert recently.
Francis Casey Alcantara
Francis Casey, or Niño, may consider his 2009 Australian Open Boy's Doubles title and his two bronzes at the most recent Sea Games in Singapore his best feats yet—but his experience in the Wimbledon, French Open, and US Open Juniors tournaments has already beefed up his credentials as well. Niño, 22, now lives in Malibu, California, where he is on a scholarship grant after graduating from Xavier University High School in Cayagan de Oro City. He’s one of the Filipino Cuppers’ best bets at the Davis Cup/ Asia Oceania Zone Group II March next year! (Photo taken from Francis Casey Alcantara's Facebook account)