The CNMI’s Coume Kaga was named to the Pacific Oceania Touring Team and played in the 2019 Commercial Club Margaret Court Cup held in Albury, Australia last week.
Kaga competed in the girls U14 singles and doubles events of the tournament named after the former No. 1 player in the women’s division and owner of a record-24 major titles. The Commonwealth bet was selected to the touring squad after her outstanding performance in the 2018 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in Fiji.
The 13-year-old won her first two matches in singles play to make it to the Round 3 of the 64-player main draw. Kaga topped Australia’s Janel Alfara in the first round, 6-1, 6-4, and then pulled off an upset over No. 9 seed Lucy Tansted. The unranked Kaga stunned Tansted in the first set, 6-1, before the Land Down Under player recovered in the second with a 6-2 triumph. In the deciding third set, the CNMI player dominated her seeded opponent, 10-1, to make it to the third round. Then in the battle for one of the eight quarterfinals berths, Kaga was pitted against another seeded player—No. 6 Madi Howell. Kaga dropped the opener, 6-0, but denied Howell the sweep when the former eked out a 6-4 triumph in the second. The Australian eventually pulled the plug on Kaga with a 10-5 win in the third set.
Kaga was the last Pacific Oceania Touring Team member to bow out of competition in singles play, as the Solomon Islands’ Prudence Bird lost in the second round and Tahiti’s Vaiani Dusserre-Valleaux was swept in Round 3. Bird fell to the consolation draw and won in the finals after surviving an extended finale match against Australia’s Erin Stojcevski, 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.
Meanwhile, in the doubles event, Kaga partnered with Aussie Amelie Swindells and they were defeated by sisters Chelsea and Abby Scholamiero, 6-3, 6-4.