9 make grade in first round


Nine players advanced to the second round of the 2019 Northern Marianas Junior Championships after winning their opening games in the boys singles event yesterday at the Pacific Islands Club hard courts.

Eight first round winners swept their way to Round 2, while Japanese Kyohei Ohtani needed three sets to survive his opener against South Korea’s Jongbeom Chun, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. Next up for Ohtani is No. 6 seed and Chinese Taipei’s Hong-Lin Fu, who got a bye at the top half of the 64-player draw.

Joining Ohtani and Fu to the next round were Brazil’s Nicolas Mark Herbert, Singapore’s Matthew Johnstone, South Korea’s Seungik Park and Yeong June Jeong, Hong Kong’s Max Kwok, and Japan’s Hayato Kurihara, Taki Adachi, Shudei Ohtani, and Yusen Sato.

Sato eliminated the CNMI’s Sam Ryu, 7-6 (5), 6-2, to face No. 2 Nan Hsun Lin of Chinese-Taipei in the second round. Shuhei also swept China’s Chibin Yan, 6-3, 6-3 to set up a Round 2 game against No. 9 Jewon Jeon of South Korea, while Jeong will challenge No. 8 Hiroki Fujita of Japan after topping Jay Jones of the U.S., 6-4, 6-4.

Kwok dominated the CNMI’s Seongjeon Heo, 6-0, 6-0, for a second round meeting with No. 4 Jun Lee, while Kurihara’s 6-0, 6-2 triumph over the CNMI’s Seung Hyun Kim earned the visitor a duel with another Commonwealth bet—No. 7 seed Robbie Schorr.

Adachi, who ousted China’s Hongyi Zheng, 6-2, 6-4, will also be paired against a seeded foe—No. 5 Dong Gyu Oh of South Korea—in Round 2. Park, a 6-0, 6-0 winner over the CNMI’s Jun Wang, will take on No. 3 seed Matthew Garcia of the Philippines, while Kyohei Ohtani will square off against Johnstrone, who defeated Japan’s Maski Kanehera, 6-3, 6-3. Herbert, the lone Brazilian in the field, prevailed over Japan’s Yuki Nagata, 6-0, 6-1, and will have the toughest second round opponent in No. 1 Yunseok Jang of South Korea.

Meanwhile, all four CNMI bets in the girls singles were booted out.

Hyejin Elliot was beaten by South Korea’s Seoyoung Kim, 6-0, 6-1, and Japanese Hiromi Sekiguchi and Natsumi Numano blanked Tania Tan and Malika Miyawaki, respectively, while China’s Haoyan Wu eliminated Maria Gregoire, 6-1, 6-0.

Majority of the opening matches in the girls U18 singles were decided in two sets, while only Hannah Kaile Shen of Hong Kong and South Korea’s Gio Jang played extended games before making it to the next round.

Jang pulled off an upset over No. 6 Li Hsin-Lin of Chinese-Taipei, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, while Shen also ousted a Chinese-Taipei player in Jyun Yi Lee, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.

The singles matches both in the girls and boys divisions will continue today, while the doubles competition will begin this morning.

Miyawaki will team up with Tan and they will collide against Lee and Lin, while Gregoire is joining forces with Chinese-Taipei’s Caini Wang and they will battle Japan’s Riko Kamikura and Sekiguchi. Ryu has Australian Louie Zhang as partner and they will face Herbert and Kwok, while the CNMI pair of Ken Song and Jimin Woo will meet Dongyeon Kang and Wang.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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