Saipan Tennis Academy instructor Luke Beling defended his men’s singles title after coasting past junior player Moris Villanueva, 6-0, 6-0, in their championship showdown in the 2015 Coconut Tennis Classic yesterday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts.
Luke, who won last year’s crown against Jeff Race, Fr. Ryan Jimenez, and Gary Ramsey in a round-robin format competition, prevailed anew this year without dropping a single set in three matches. He started his title defense with a 6-0, 6-0 crushing of Dong Min Lee in the opening week of the two-weekend tournament and bagged the finals berth at the top half of the bracket after sweeping another junior player Robbie Schorr in the semifinals last Saturday, 6-0, 6-1.
At the bottom half, Villanueva fashioned out a thrilling 6-7, 7-5, 10-8 victory over long-time CNMI coach Jeff Race in the semis to earn the right to face Beling in the finals. Before his tough win over Race, Villanueva also grinded out a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 triumph against Colin Ramsey. Race, on the other hand, won over junior player Michael Ren, 6-2, 6-1, for a semis date with Villanueva last Saturday.
Villanueva also played in the boys U18 singles, but fell short in his title bid, too, as he lost to the semifinals against the eventual champion Ramsey. Ramsey survived Villanueva in an exciting Final Four pairing at the top half of the draw last Saturday, 3-6, 7-6, 10-8, to arrange a title duel against Luther Lizama. Before his hard-fought win over Villanueva, Ramsey, who was a losing semifinalist to Jake Lee last year, came from a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Steven Lee to barge into the Final Four anew.
Lizama had an easier semis assignment, as it took him only two sets to eliminate Michael Ren, 6-2, 6-1. Ren made it to the Final Four following his 6-1, 6-0 victory against Sunny Cho in Week 1, while Lizama got a bye in the opening week.
In the boys U14 singles, Robbie Schorr got the championship that he missed last year.
Schorr, who bowed to Lizama in a close finale last season, 6-8, swept Vincent Tudela in yesterday’s title match, 6-3, 7-5. The championship was Schorr’s second in the age group under the 2014-2015 calendar of the organizing Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association. He won in the Tan Holdings Tennis Classic late last year against Tudela, too.
Schorr and Tudela arranged their second straight title duel after posting contrasting semis wins. Schorr edged Ken Song in the upper bracket semis last Sunday, 6-1, 3-6, 10-6, while Tudela downed Tony Kim, 6-4, 6-4. Tudela also defeated Steven Goodwin, 6-2, 6-1, to barge into the semifinals, while Schorr ousted A.J. Hudkins, 6-0, 6-0, for a Final Four collision against Song, a 6-1, 6-2 winner over Joshua Abragan.
Meanwhile, results of the other boys singles, girls singles, and mixed-up doubles will be reported later this week.