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Monday, April 21, 2014

Lopez enters semis in Australia

Mikayla Lopez, seen here going for a baseline return during the PIC tournament last year, partnered with American Samoa’s Anastasia Tapusoa and made it to the semifinals of the U16 doubles of the 2013 Victorian Junior Grasscourt Championships yesterday in Victoria, Australia. (Saipan Tribune) The CNMI’s Mikayla Lopez and American Samoa’s Anastasia Tapusoa stunned their seeded foes to make it to the semifinals of the girls U16 doubles event of the 2013 Victorian Junior Grasscourt Championships.

Lopez and Tapusoa pulled off an upset over the second-ranked pair of Maddison Brackenreg and Julia Stutsel of Australia, winning in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, yesterday at the Wodonga Tennis Centre in Victoria, Australia.

The game against the Australian duo was one of Lopez and Tapusoa’s two matches yesterday. The Pacific Oceania tandem’s second assignment of the day was a semis duel versus Papua New Guinea’s Lorish Puluspene and Australia’s Maggie Snowdon yesterday afternoon. Puluspene and Snowdon are seeded third in the 14-team field and marched into the semis of the lower half of the draw after eliminating Japan’s Shino Kanno and Momo Takahashi, 6-1, 6-4.

In the top half of the draw, No. 1 pick Katherine Campbell and Jacinta Pang of Australia and No. 4 seed Kayla Donovan and Georgina Jansen took Final Four berth after surviving their foes in three sets. Campbell and Pang won over compatriot Annabel Jaskiewicz and Micaela McKimmie, 5-7, 6-3, 10-8, while Donovan and Kansen also recovered from an opening set loss to thwart Caitlin Conradie and Darlyhne Lillico, 6-7, 6-2, 10-4.

While the U16 doubles event in Wodonga are about to end, singles action has yet to start with Lopez and company scheduled to play their first game today. Lopez is pitted against McKimmie and a win will move her to the quarterfinal round of the 16-player field.

Meanwhile, Tammy Ackerman also has yet to play her first round match in the U14 singles. She is set to collide against Kellie Bairstow in the upper half of the 32-player draw.

While Ackerman is waiting for her singles assignment, she completed her doubles stint in the Victorian tournament and lost in the quarterfinals. Ackerman and partner Emma Adelaide Graham bowed to top-ranked Alana Bourgeois and Samantha Nyika, 0-6, 1-6, yesterday.

Ackerman’s CNMI teammate, Negahr Rastguiy, was also entered in the U14 doubles and the latter and Palau’s Ayana Rengiil were eliminated, too. Beatrice Hetrel and Kate Vaughan was credited with a walkover win, as Rastguiy could not play with Rengiil due to a sore toe. Rastguiy is hoping to recover soon, as she is set to meet Australia’s Nada Milenkovic today at 10am.

The Victorian Junior Grasscourt Championships is the CNMI junior players’ second and last tournament in Australia. They had been to Albury, New South Wales, for the 2013 Australia Post Margaret Court Cup. (Saipan Tribune)

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