Patrick Aquino and Gyan Lucero played beautiful music together en route to winning the mixed doubles 4.0 of the 2022 SIS Student Council Tennis Tournament last Sunday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts.
The unseeded tandem upset No. 1 seeds Irin Chung and June Yu, 6-1, 6-3, in the finals.
Aquino and Lucero’s relatively easy match in the championship was in stark contrast to the nip-and-tuck struggle the pair encountered in the semifinals against second seeds Wataru Kadokura and Hoo Wang.
After dropping the opening set, 1-6, Aquino and Lucero forced a super tiebreaker with a 4-1 victory in the second. But it was just the beginning as both doubles teams fought tooth and nail before Aquino and Lucero managed to take the win.
“We were down 7-9, so they have two match points already but we still played our game and we did it at the end,” said Aquino when asked about the epic super tiebreaker against Chung and Yu.
He said his tandem with Lucero works because they’re close friends off the court too.
“Were friends off the court. I think that’s our advantage. No pressure and we are just enjoying the game,” Aquino said, adding that Lucero is a natural athlete that can cover a lot of ground in the court.
Lucero, for her part, said they won the division because of their mental toughness and focus.
She said Aquino is a great doubles partner because he always guides and gives her a lot of tips when it comes to technique.
“He’s more experienced and we always are having fun playing even it’s not a tournament,” he said.
Chung and Yu barged into the finals with a 5-4, 4-2 victory over Sarka Glasjchova and Martin Jambor. They had a bye in the first round. Aquino and Lucero, meanwhile, beat Hannah Chae and Jung Wang, 4-1, 4-1, to advance to the semis.
In the mixed doubles 3.0, top seeds Yutaka Kadokura and Anne Lee took home the championship with a 6-0, 6-3 win over third seeds Taheir Shakir and Lina Tsukagoshi.
Kadokura and Lee punched their finals tickets with a 1-4, 4-2, 10-2 win over No. 4 Andrew Chung and Yebin Shin. They previously were also tested 4-2, 3-5, 10-4 by Dev Bachani and Maya Shimizu after getting a free pass in the first round.
Shakir and Tsukagoshi were 2-4, 4-0, 10-6 winners over Seiyul Hong and Jack Linden in the semis. They also had a bye in the opener.
Results of the mixed doubles 5.0 and mixed doubles U18 will be reported in tomorrow’s issue of Saipan Tribune.
The 2022 SIS Student Council Tennis was held as a fundraiser for Saipan International School’s Student Council and is sanctioned by the Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association.
The sponsors of the event are the following: Mango Six Café, Sura Restaurant, Café 670, All Star Sporting Goods and Boarderline, Joeten Superstore, Plumeria Steakhouse, Java Joe’s, Hyatt Regency Saipan, and Summer Snow Café.