source: By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star)
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MANILA, Philippines - Top Filipino junior netter Jeson Patrombon takes a plunge into the pro circuit when he competes in three $10,000 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures events in India beginning next week.
Patrombon, ranked No. 10 among the world’s junior campaigners, has been granted a wild card in the main draw of the first leg set April 11-16 in Chandigarh, marking his debut in the men’s circuit. The ITF Futures is the lowest rung of the men’s professional tennis ladder.
The 18-year-old Iligan pride has also secured slots in the qualifying rounds of the second and third legs slated April 18-23 in Noida and April 25-30 in Chennai, respectively.
Patrombon’s coach Manny Tecson said Patrombon gained his tickets to India owing to his Top 10 ranking in the ITF juniors list and three successive finals appearance in the last ITF Grade 1 circuit.
Philippine Tennis Association vice president and ITF juniors committee member Ajay Pathak helped facilitate Patrombon’s request to the Indian Tennis Association.
“We’re looking forward to these tournaments and we hope to get our first few (ATP) points there,” said Tecson, whose ward needs ATP points to gain entry to succeeding ITF Futures events.
Patrombon will be pitting skills with 31 opponents carrying ATP rankings ranging from 448th to 1,700th.
“Being a 32-man draw, the competition will not be as tough as a 64-man draw but what’s important is we test the water,” said Tecson.
If Patrombon will dish out a solid performance in India, Tecson said they will try to enter him in three other ITF Futures netfests in Korea next.
Still eligible in the juniors until yearend, Patrombon plans to compete at the Wimbledon juniors’ wars in between his forays into the men’s circuit.