Four survived the qualifying tournament for the boys singles division of the 2014 IT&E Northern Marianas Junior Championships.
South Korea’s Yohan Sung, Japan’s Yuki Watanabe, and Hong Kong’s Ka Wui Wesley Law and Fabien Calloud took the four remaining main draw berths after prevailing in their respective matches in the qualifier yesterday at the Pacific Islands Club hard courts.
Sung played on Court 1 and cruised to a 6-0 victory against Japan’s Yu Sasaki in the first set. In the second set, Sasaki managed to make it to the board, but still Sung came out the winner, notching a 6-2 triumph to secure the sweep. The win was the second in a row for Sung, as he also swept Japan’s Daisuke Sumizawa in the first round of the qualifier, 6-1, 7-5, to keep his hopes for a main draw slot alive. In the main draw, Sung will duel Hong Kong’s Cheuk Yin Yuen.
Watanabe also needed only two sets to advance to the main draw after defeating Australia’s Chris Kafataris, 6-3, 6-4. Next up for the Japanese is Hong Kong’s Ching Lam, as they collide in the first round match of the 32-player draw today at the PIC hard court. Before losing to Watanabe, Kafataris bagged a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Hong Kong’s Denton Ho last Sunday.
Law recorded the third straight set victory in the final day of the qualifying tournament with Law outclassing Thailand’s Kittikawin Naksaringcarin, 6-2, 6-1. Law, who came off an impressive 6-0, 6-0 win over Japan’s Kiichi Ishida last Sunday, will be pitted against Indonesia’s Steven Harianto Poe in the first round match today.
Joining Law in the main draw was his fellow Hong Kong player Calloud, who took the long route to victory after eliminating Japan’s Eikoh Hayashi in three sets. The Hong Kong junior player notched a 6-3 win in the openings set, but failed to wrap up the match on Court 4 early, as Hayashi recovered with a 6-4 triumph in the second set. In the deciding third set, Calloud regained his bearings and registered a convincing 6-1 victory to punch the last main draw ticket in the boys singles and set up a first round match against Saipan’s Vincent Tudela.
Besides Tudela, eight other Saipan junior players will be seeing action in this Grade 5 event. Colin Ramsey will meet fellow Saipan bet Seiya Eda in the first round, Michael Ren will be paired against Hong Kong’s Wai Leuk Alan Lee, and Luther Lizama will challenge the No. 8 seed Bernard Bruno Nkomba of Australia. Haruya Eda will also face a seeded foe in No. 7 Ming Chun Alan Sou of Hong Kong, while Amami Sakano has a high-ranked opponent in the fifth-seeded Jack Barber of Australia. Jake Lee is pitted against an unseeded player in the IT&E Junior ITF tournament returnee Jerome Romualdez of the Philippines, while Tommy Choi and Moris Villanueva have tougher debut matches against the No. 2 seed Taisei Miyamoto of Japan and Jack Wong of Hong Kong, respectively.
Meanwhile, in the girls singles division, the CNMI will field seven players. The list includes Negahr Rastguiy, Mikayla Lopez, Tammy Ackerman, Grace Choi, Julia Ishikawa, Ami Tsukagoshi, and Mimi Sakano. They will be facing players from Japan, India, Hong Kong, Guam, Chinese-Taipei, Thailand, Philippines, and Australia. Thailand’s Yinglak Jittakoat and Japan’s Yuri Katano are the Top 2 seeds in the girls singles draw.
Doubles matches will also be played in the second Junior ITF tournament the CNMI is hosting and matches will be played both at PIC and Kanoa Resort tennis courts. The competition will run until Saturday.