During the first game of the DLSU Lady Tennisters last month, ace rookie Marinel Rudas was missing in action. Apparently, the 18 year-old suited up for the Philippine Women’s Tennis Team, which embarked on a trip to Astana, Kazakhstan for the 2013 Federation Cup Asia/Oceania Division II Group B Round Robin Tournament.
In her first year with the Lady Tennisters, the Muntinlupa Cosmopolitan School alumna has played her part in the team’s successful title redemption bid. She has taken command in all of her matches by brushing aside all her opponents in her first UAAP season, earning her the Rookie of the Year award.
The Zamboangeña began her international career at the young age of 14. She has competed with the Philippine Team at the Federation Cup and has also involved herself in Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Singles’ Tournaments such as the China Open. Rudas’ three-year Federation Cup record currently spans seven wins and five losses.
Rudas shares that being a national team member has been vital to her UAAP success. She explained that trainings with the national team are more rigorous than La Salle’s because of the higher degree of difficulty in the international arena.
In addition, the frosh student’s experience on the international stage has helped her gain a psychological edge, which transpires to easy wins on the court. She argued, “It has been a big deal that I am a part of national team because my opponents usually fear me, and in return, I also know how to intimidate them so that I’ll have the confidence to play against them.”
Just like Muñoz, Rudas has encountered time management puzzles. She evenly splits her training sessions to accommodate both the national team and La Salle’s demands. There are times, however, where she can only pick one.
The Maria Sharapova fan expressed fulfillment in being a part of her school and country’s teams. With her young career just unfolding, Rudas will develop further experience that could be instrumental to both La Salle and the Philippines.
She ended, “I think that my training with the national team will further strengthen my game with La Salle in the future.”