Former CNMI junior player Colin Sinclair earned his first pro championships after ruling the doubles event in the Belgium F8 Futures held early this month in Eupen, Belgium.
Sinclair, who was born and raised on Saipan and made his mark in local tennis in the early 2000s, partnered with Great Britain’s Charles Broom in topping the 16-team tournament under the ITF Pro Circuit (European). The unranked Sinclair and Broom completed their stunning show in the clay court competition that offered $15,000 in prize money after beating No. 1 seed Tom Schonenberg of Germany and Colin Van Beem of the Netherlands in the finals, 4-6, 6-1, 10-5.
Before outlasting their foes in a super-tiebreaker third set, Sinclair and Broom needed only two sets each to eliminate their first three opponents. In the opening round, the CNMI-Great Britain pair pulled off an upset over No. 3 and Australia’s Adam and Jason Taylor, 6-2, 7-6 (5). Sinclair and Broom were then pitted against the unranked Billy Harris of Great Britain and Mateausz Terczynski of Poland and won, 6-2, 6-4, to march into the semifinals. In the battle for the finals berth at the lower half of the draw, Sinclair and his partner stunned another seeded duo in the Netherland’s Gijs Brouwer and Jelle Sels, 6-4, 7-6 (4).
The former CNMI junior player and his British partner eventually kept their winning run in the Belgium F8 Futures as they bounced back from an opening set loss to Schonenberg and Van Beem by sweeping the last two.
Sinclair also joined the singles event of the tournament and won his first two matches in the main draw to make it to the quarterfinals. He defeated Qatar’s Jabor Al-Mutawa in the first round, 6-1, 6-2, and then topped Belgium’s Romain Barbosa in the Round of 16, 6-4, 6-2, to move into the quarterfinals. Sinclair then missed a semis entry when he bowed to the host’s Christopher Heyman in the Round of 8, 3-6, 4-6.
The 22-year-old Sinclair has been a regular in the Belgium Futures, joining the series of tournaments since last year. In the Belgium F3 Futures held from July 3 to 9, he became the first CNMI player to gain world rankings in the ITF Pro Circuit after winning three matches in the qualifying draw and prevailing in his opening game in the singles main draw. With his successes in Belgium, Sinclair is now ranked No. 1,156 in doubles and No. 1,393 in singles. He got 18 ranking points for his doubles win and two in the singles in the Belgium F8 Futures.
Besides his busy schedule competing in Belgium, Sinclair managed to find time and suit up for Pacific Oceania in the 2017 Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group III held last month in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He swept his four singles matches, starting the string of victories with a 6-4, 6-0 triumph over Syria’s Kareen Al Allaf and following it up with wins over Sri Lanka’s Sharmal Dissanayake, 6-4, 6-4; Jordan’s Mohammed Almayani, 6-1, 6-0; and Turkemistan’s Isa Mammetgulyyev, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Meanwhile, CNMI Junior National Team coach Jeff Race said he was not surprise to see Sinclair excel as the latter has been working hard to improve his game since joining the ITF Pro Circuit in 2012 and competing in Australia, various states in the U.S., and in Belgium. Saipan Tribune contacted Sinclair to get comments about his victories in the Davis Cup and in Belgium, but has yet to respond at press time.