|Marian Capadocia has risen to the occasion in recent years.|
By Ariel Clarito
MANILA--During the women’s singles finals of the 36th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open held last Nov. 19 at the PCA Courts in Paco, Manila, third seeded Marian Jade Capadocia snared the women’s title by scoring a 6-3, 6-4 victory over national team mainstay Clarisse Patrimonio.
Capadocia looked comfortable in the long rallies as she cruised to a convincing win over the defending champion and the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games women’s singles silver medalist, a testament to the strides in Capadocia’s game gained from her training at the Amstelpark Tennis Academy, the largest professional tennis academy in Netherlands, and her regular campaign in international tournaments.
Embarking on a professional sports career is no easy task. Marian has endured a great number of challenges in her drive for tennis excellence.
“One of the biggest sacrifices I have had to make has been to put my studies on hold for three years so I could focus on my career. Another major sacrifice is traveling alone for competitions abroad and being apart from my family,” reveals Marian.
She has since resumed her studies at the Arellano University, a team which she led to a second place finish in last year’s NCAA competitions.
But long before she stepped foot on the hallowed courts of Amstelpark in Amsterdam, Capadocia already showed her vast potential when she began playing the game at nine years old, so much so that when she turned 12, her father, Joe Capadocia, decided to retire from his work as a wharf operations manager in Antique so he could be a full-time coach to Marian.
Joe Capadocia envisioned a seven-year window to see how far Marian would progress in her tennis career. Marian did not need that long to prove her worth.
In 2011, she became at 16 years old the youngest ever champion of the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open, the country’s most prestigious tournament.
That same year, she also emerged as the singles and doubles Under-18 Champion of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Canyon Crest Summer Junior Open Tournament.
At that point, it became pretty clear to Joe Capadocia that his daughter Marian had a bright future in her chosen sport.
Marian then started to dominate the local tennis scene by winning the PCA Open four straight times from 2011-2014 before she embarked on her international campaign in the ITF Women’s circuit.
Although the local rankings do not quite reflect it, Capadocia has clearly been the best female tennis player in the Philippines in recent years.
Aside from being the PCA champion, she has also bagged the Olivarez Cup and the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Pintaflores Tennis Open.
he has represented the Philippines with pride in the Federation Cup when she teamed up with Patrimonio in 2014 to finish second in the Asia Oceania Zone II.
She played in the 2011 SEA Games and she would have been in the national team on numerous other occasions if not for the shenanigans and politics of the now under fire officials of the Philippine Lawn Tennis Association (PHILTA).
Marian is one of only two Fiipinas who are currently active in the international circuit. She made the second round of the singles competition of the ITF tournament in Cairo, Egypt and the main draw of the ITF Alkmaar in Netherlands.
In the doubles, she reached the quarterfinals of the ITF Alkmaar and the semifinals of the ITF tournament in Amstelveen, Netherlands.
Marian knows that for her to further improve her game, she has to gain more international exposure.
She shares, “My immediate plan is to find enough sponsors next year to help me in my training and in my goal to play in Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tournaments. That way, I can earn more ranking points.”
At 22 years old, Marian has achieved so much already in the local scene that it is only right for her to test her mettle against tougher competition abroad.
Given the vision, resilience, and tenacity she has shown thus far in her young career, it will hardly be a surprise if Marian also becomes an international tennis star.
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