CNMI tops 6 of 7 junior events in Guam

Posted on Apr 27 2022


The CNMI delegation to the Chamorro Open Tennis Tournament poses for a group photo with Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association president Jeff Race, third row left, after winning six of seven junior division last weekend at the Guam National Tennis Center in Dededo. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

CNMI junior netters didn’t disappoint in their first off-island competition in three years after winning six out of seven divisions in the 2022 Chamorro Open Tennis Tournament held over the weekend at the Guam National Tennis Center in Dededo.

Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association president Jeff Race said among the division winners were Jimin Woo (boys 18), David Kwon (boys 16), June Yu (boys 14), Irin Chung (girls 14), Yutaka Kadokura (boys 12), and Lina Tsukagoshi (girls 12).

Woo fought off cramps and the powerful strokes of Aarman Sachdev to win the boys 18 finals, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5. The Saipan International School senior said considering it was his first off-island competition in a couple of years, he was happy with the result.

“It feels great to be able to win this tournament especially because the finals was a very hard-fought match. I feel like I was very mentally tough this tournament,” he said.

Kwon, meanwhile, defeated former CNMI resident Andy Cajigan, 6-1, 6-4, in the boys 16. The 15-year-old freshman at Mount Carmel School said winning his division was another blessing following the opportunity to compete in Guam.

“I was very excited to play in Guam and I’m so happy for winning the boys 16. I was just trying my best to win all the time,” he said.

Yu, for his part, was just glad that all his efforts paid off with the boys 14 championship following his 7-5, retirement victory against Jacob Hsiao.

“I was not very consistent but I was happy that I won the tournament. I also want to say sorry to the other finalist. I made him run too much and he got injured.”

In the girls 14, Chung slid past fellow CNMI netter Hoo Wang, 6-3, 7-5, and said it really felt great playing in an off-island tournament again.

“It was a really good experience finally getting to play different players in two years. I really like the courts there since they are very clean and smooth. I am looking forward for the North Pacific Regional Championships on July,” she said.

Four CNMI junior netter, meanwhile, advanced to the semifinals of the B12 division with Yutaka Kadokura eventually coming out on top following a 6-2, 6-1 win against Ian Chae. The other semifinalists in the age group were Eamon Tang and Ryan Choi.

Among the younger competitors Lina Tsukagoshi gave up just five games in four sets of the round-robin competition in the girls 12 division and won her matches easily, 6-1, 6-0, and 6-3, 6-1, according to Race.

The CNMI came one division shy of sweeping the juniors as Hye Jin Elliot took an early lead in the girls 18 finals, but her opponent, Sidney Packbier, worked her way back to win, 7-6, 6-4.

Despite the loss, the SIS student took everything in stride. “It was a great experience to be able to challenge other players,” she said.

Overall, Race was elated on the showing of his wards in the 2022 Chamorro Open Tennis Tournament

“I’m super proud of this NMI team. In their first off-island competition in three years our junior players took on Guam’s best in seven events, winning six,” he said.

He also described Woo’s win against Sachdev as “the most dramatic match of the tournament” and said he also was impressed with Kwon’s stamina. “That final was David’s third match of the day. Also the best I’ve ever seen him play,” he said.

The CNMI National Tennis Team coach for this year’s Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games said bar none, his B12 players did strong work by virtue of them capturing all four semis slots in the tourney.

“The CNMI’s strongest showing came in the B12 event, where the Saipan netters captured all four semifinal berths,” he said.

The 23-player strong CNMI delegation to the Chamorro Open returned to Saipan last Monday.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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