After 8 weeks, more than 200 hours of tennis (excluding practice), almost 200 matches played, 168 players and 4 teams, "Finally it's done and we are here now." said Derrick Santos, the Chairman of the Manila Polo Club (MPC) Tennis Committee, who is also the man behind the 1st MPC-Hernandez Cup Sanctioned by Unified Tennis Philippines (UTP), during his opening remarks of the awarding ceremony.

The Hernandez Cup was held in tribute to one of the greatest Filipino Tennis player of all time, Willie Hernandez, whose achievements include playing against the great Rod Laver, beating the legendary Arthur Ashe, and playing at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the French Open in the 1960's. Coach Willie Hernandez as he is called in Manila Polo Club, also set up the Willie Hernandez Tennis Academy at MPC that run for more than 8 years and developed some of the best players the Philippines has produced including Davis Cuppers, National Team members, and top Juniors like Felix Barrientos, Roland So, Raymond Suarez, Roland Kraut, Derrick Santos, Randy Villanueva, Tonito Payumo and John Rey Tiangco. All the players mentioned also participated in the MPC-Willie Hernandez Cup.

Jean Henri Lhuillier, the President of Unified Tennis Philippines (UTP) and a former student at the Willie Hernandez Tennis Academy during his junior years, explained the advantages of becoming a UTP sanctioned event and how the players would benefit from UTP's partnership with the best tennis rating system in the world the UNIVERSAL TENNIS RATINGS.

He also encouraged everyone during the awarding ceremony to volunteer and do something for tennis in the Philippines, citing the efforts of the MPC Tennis Committee, the captains, and co-captains of the tournament who made the whole event successful.

The tournament that lasted for 8 weeks was composed of members and non-members of Manila Polo Club that featured a round robin format, with a knock out semifinals, and finals on the 8th and final week. "In behalf of the non-member participants, we are all very thankful to the members of Manila Polo Club for opening up the club to guests and making us all feel warm and welcome throughout the tournament." said Randy Villanueva, who was a former junior champion and another product of the Willie Hernandez Tennis Academy.

There were also notable personalities who joined and played the tournament including Carlo Katigbak, Président of ABS CBN; TV personality, Olympian and CNN PHILIPPINES host, Christine Jacobs-Sandejas; ABS CBN TV host and former national tennis player, Dyan Castillejo; former Philippine Stock Exchange Président, Hans Sicat; commercial model, Anja Peters; award winning actress, Cherry Pie Picache; and Amazon Philippines Country Head, Stephen Misa.

Top nationally ranked junior players from the Philippines also joined including current Junior David cuppers Matthew Garcia and Nio Tria , former Junior Fed Cup player Rafaella Villanueva , Former World Juniors Player Sebastian Lhuillier . Other current top junior players include Marco Ayala , Diego Dayrit , Stephan Lhuillier , Nina Sandejas , Justin Suarez and many more .... Former Davis Cup Captain Roland Kraut, who was the Tournament director of the MPC-Hernandez Cup, also thanked all the sponsors who made the event possible and successful. Sponsors included were Greenfield Development Corporation, Cebuana Lhuilier Sports, Navegar, One Sky by Sky Cable , Atsui Apparels and Technifibre the official ball sponsor of the tournament. In behalf of UNIFIED TENNIS PHILIPPINES, we would like to thank Manila Polo Club as it continues to help the real grassroots development in tennis which is making people stay and play the sport, thank you for truly making tennis #UTPTennisParaSaLahat.

Manila Polo Club Hernandez Tennis League

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