Fresh from a successful campaign with two singles finals in the International Tennis Federation (ITF)-AGS Junior Tennis championships in Indonesia, the Unified Tennis Philippines is confident that its ongoing nationwide grassroots program will yield future world-class players.
“UTP continues to scour the Philippines and even abroad for young, emerging Filipino hopefuls who could help bring back the sport’s glory days. It is our mission to provide them with proper training and international exposure. In fact, we recently introduced the members of the UTP national junior tennis team who saw action in Indonesia and Malaysia earlier this year,” said UTP president and founding member Jean Henri Lhuillier.
Committed to their vision of discovering fresh talent, UTP continues to hold more than 100 age group tournaments nationwide with the support of Cebuana Lhuillier, Palawan Pawnshop, Babolat, HEAD, Chris’ Sports, Dunlop, Toby’s Sports, Wilson and Decathlon.
UTP is sending a third batch of five players making up the UTP juniors national team vying in the 13th ATF Asian 14-and-under series in Sarawak, Malaysia this week. UTP is also backing the Cebuana Lhuillier Girls’ Tennis Challenge where the champions will represent the country in the WTA Future Stars in Singapore next month.
UTP is also supporting the Philippine Tennis Tour, a series of tennis clinics and workshops for coaches and trainers led by certified MTM (Modern Tennis Methodology) and USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association) coach Alex Marcial. The tour will hold clinics in Cavite, Butuan, Surigao Del Sur, Cebu, Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo for the rest of the year.
Through its partnership with the Pinoy Tennis Trainers by Stephan Lhuillier, 10 training sessions for 600 trainers were also held nationwide.
UTP also supports top Filipino players such as Treat Huey, among the top 100 players in the world doubles, and Ruben Gonzales, who is on his way to cracking the top 100 doubles with his career best 135 ranking. Both aim to qualify in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Other UTP initiatives include Tennis on Wheels, a project by former Davis Cup hero Rod Rafael which provides free tennis lessons to kids, especially those in depressed areas as well as an ongoing partnership with Universal Tennis Rating (UTR), an accurate and reliable technique for rating tennis skills worldwide, which allows players to measure their abilities through UTR’s 16-point scale which covers all ages, genders, and levels of tennis skill; and the UTP membership program.