The weather cleared yesterday afternoon, allowing three CNMI players to shine in their opening games in the 2019 Northern Marianas Junior Championships at the Pacific Islands Club hard courts.
Robbie Schorr, Ken Song, and Sean Lee prevailed in their respective singles matches to march into the third round of the ITF Juniors World Tour tournament.
The No. 13 seed Lee handed the Commonwealth its first win in the competition after sweeping Australia’s Louie Zheng, 6-2, 6-0, while Song duplicated the former’s straight set victory following an upset over No. 15 Sooyoung Yang of South Korea, 6-2, 6-3.
Schorr, who is seeded No. 7 in the 64-player draw, was the last CNMI player to have his opening match yesterday and he eased past Japanese Hayato Kurihara, 6-1, 6-2. With the victory, Schorr set up a duel with South Korea’s Dong Hwang Kim and they will battle for a quarterfinal berth tomorrow. The unseeded Kim advanced to the third round after stunning No. 12 Qwyn Quittner of Australia, 6-2, 6-3, at the bottom half of the draw.
Song is also at the lower part of the draw and will face the winner in the second round match between No. 2 seed Nan Hsun-Lin of Chinese-Taipei and Yusen Sato of Japan. Hsun-Lin drew a bye in the opening and was scheduled to debut in the tournament yesterday, but his match against Sato and all the morning games (including the opener in the doubles event) in the competition were reset due to heavy rains. Sato and Hsun-Lin will have their make-up match today.
Also slated for this morning is the tussle between Brazil’s Nikolas Herbert and No. 1 Yunseok Jang of South Korea with the winner meeting Lee in Round 3 of the upper half of the draw.
Meanwhile, Jimin Woo missed joining his three CNMI teammates in the third round after bowing to No. 16 Kenta Miyoshi of Japan.
Two more seeded players in the boys singles made it to the next round with No. 3 Matthew Garcia of the Philippines downing South Korea’s Seungik Park, 6-3, 6-3 and No. 14 Kaita Odani of Japan defeating South Korea’s Dongyeon Kang, 6-1, 6-1.
In other results, the unseeded Yun Seop Sim of South Korea eliminated No. 11 Shu-Lun Chang of Chinese-Taipei, 6-0, 6-3.
In the girls singles, No. 1 seed Manami Ukita coasted past Haopyan Wu, 7-5, 6-3; No. 3 Kanami Hayashige of Japan topped Hong Kong’s Hannah Shen, 7-5, 6-3; and No. 2 Zijun Jiang of China slipped past Japan’s Riko Kamikura, 5-7, 6-1, 6-0.
There were two upsets in the girls singles with Japan’s Natsumi Numano ousting No. 4 Qianyu Liu of China, 6-4, 7-6 (4) and South Korea’s Seoyoung Kim beating No. 5 Rio Osegawa, 6-2, 6-2.