Fourteen games were on tap and 14 games were concluded in the first day of the inaugural Aon Insurance Tennis Tournament Thursday evening at the American Memorial Park tennis courts.
The auspicious start for the Saipan Tennis Association-organized event saw 28 players share the four courts at the Garapan public sports venue with half of them advancing to the second round of competition in the singles division.
Leading the way in the men’s 4.0 was tried-and-tested veteran Tony Santos who shrugged off his loss in last year’s elections by winning against STA vice president Ricky Castro in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.
Art Borromeo also had a field day against Rodel Macasinag, as he also advanced to the next round via a 6-1, 6-0 triumph. Abet Encarnacion and Simeon Gregorio also took the same route when they turned back Babu Malayil and Jorge Olanda, 6-1, 6-1 and 6-3, 6-4, respectively.
The only match that went the distance was the encounter between the ever-contentious Jess Pacheco and cool as a cucumber Hector Benitez with the latter taking the marathon bout in a score of 7-6 (18-16), 6-4.
Men’s 3.0 action saw Alvin Francisco beat Tom Guerrero, 6-1, 6-0, and Amado Esmero get the better of Henry Poon, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, in the upper half of the bracket and Thomas Joab defeat Alex Katta, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, and Jaime Hagos win by default over Romy Espeleta in the lower bracket.
Two matches got underway in the men’s 2.0 and it saw Vener Urena best George Lizardo, 6-2, 6-3, and Zachary Joab score a 6-3, 6-1 win over Edgar Carino.
Games in the women’s 3.0 saw a battle of newcomers with Cecil Obaldo registering a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Rochelle Jimenez and Lenny Titer take out Bel Busby, 6-1, 6-2.
The singles competition will continue throughout the weekend and on to first few days of the following week. It will be followed by the doubles in the latter part of next week.
Doubles will feature play in men’s, women’s, and mixed open, men’s, women’s, and mixed 4.0, and men’s, women’s, and mixed 3.0. STA will hold a draw for the doubles and mixed doubles competition this Sunday, April 23, 6pm at the AMP clubhouse.
For more information about the inaugural Aon Insurance Tennis Tournament, call Roy Pangelinan at 287-7697, Nelia Luna at 287-0859, Ricky Castro at 234-5091, Richard Asuncion at 287-0856, Edwin Maratas at 287-0870, Babu Malayil at 287-4472, Peter Loyola at 285-3135, Lenny Pantaleon at 285-9500, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.