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Soft netter Noelle Conchita Zoleta-Manalac is assured of an elite ranking in the next three-year period starting with the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games in Indonesia – after back-to-back bronze medal performances in the major international soft tennis arena.
Zoleta-Manalac fashioned a hard-fought 4-1 victory over Wang Yufei of China to capture the bronze medal in the women’s singles division of the recent 8th Asian Soft Tennis Championships in chilly Chiba, Japan.
The solid baseline game of Zoleta-Manalac also propelled her past Pemika Cunaviriyasiri of Thailand 4-0 to bag a similar podium finish during the 2015 World Cup Soft Tennis competitions in New Delhi, India.
“Soft tennis has a very different ranking system practically based on a 4-year performance record which makes it really difficult to crack except, of course, for powerhouse countries Japan, Korea. Chinese Taipei and China,” explained Philippine Soft Tennis Association (PSTA) president Col. Jeff Tamayo.
Tamayo said all four medal winners in the previous World Cup, Asian Championships and Asian Games tournaments are assured of top seedings and low-ranked opponents en route to the podium in the next international competitions.
Despite her No. 5-8 finish during the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, Zoleta-Manalac is guaranteed of another quarterfinal slot in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games edition due to her breakthrough third place finish in the recent Asian Championships.