CNMI sweeps opener in Fiji


Ken Song makes a strong return to Robbie Schorr during a local tournament this season at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan courts. Both players are in Fiji and won their opening games in the Inaugural Nations Cup Pacific. (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI Tennis Team stood out in the opening day of the Inaugural Nations Cup Pacific after beating Fiji and Oceania 2 yesterday in Fiji.

The Commonwealth’s men’s crew made up of Robbie Schorr, Ken Song, and Ji Min Woo swept the Fiji Development Men’s Team, 3-0, while the Carol Lee-led CNMI women’s squad outclassed Oceania Women’s Combined 2, 2-1.

Song handed the CNMI its first win when he dominated Saurav Sharma in the second singles match, 6-1, 6-2. Schorr, on the other hand, played in the first singles tiff against Sebastian Tikaram and labored through a 7-5 victory in the first set before easing his way to a win in the second, 6-0, to seal the pool play triumph for the Commonwealth.

Song returned to Court 3 to team up with Woo and they also needed only two sets to down Sharma and Tikaram, 6-4, 6-2, and complete the sweep.

The CNMI is in Group C of the men’s team competition, which also has Tahiti and Oceania Combined 1. Schorr and company will face Oceania Combined 1 today. The Top 2 teams after the pool play will advance to the playoffs.

Other squads entered in the men’s field are Group A’s Solomon Islands, American Samoa, and Fiji, Group B’s Vanuatu, Samoa, and Tonga, and Group D’s Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

In the women’s division, the CNMI is in Group B and got its first win from Lee, who whipped Papua New Guinea’s Patricia Apisah, 6-0, 6-1. In the other singles game, Tuvalu’s Alesi Molotii downed the CNMI’s Isabel Heras, 6-2, 6-2, to help Oceania 2 stay in contention. Heras then redeemed herself in doubles play and handed the Commonwealth the win when she and Lee slipped past Apisah and Molotii in an extended game, 6-3, 5-7, 11-9.

Next up for Heras, Lee, and Conatsu Kaga are American Samoa. They will then be pitted against Tonga tomorrow for their last pool play.

There are only three groups in the women’s team event with Vanuatu, Samoa, and Fiji entered in Group A and Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, FSM, and Oceania 1 in Group B.

In other results in the women’s division, Vanuatu beat Fiji, 2-1; Cook Islands defeated the Solomon Islands, 2-1; and Oceania 1 shut down FSM, 3-0. American Samoa and Tonga were in a deadlock, 1-1, and results of the deciding doubles game were unavailable at press time.

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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