Dunlop couple survives Tan, Lai


Marivic Dunlop makes a return during her and husband Donn’s semis game against Karen Ramsey and Landon Nadler in the mixed doubles 50-and-above division of the 9th Annual TanHoldings Tennis Classic last Saturday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan court. (Contributed Photo)

The husband-and-wife tandem of Donn and Marivic Dunlop needed three sets to put away Lydia Tan and David Lai and win the mixed doubles 50-and above championship in the 9th Annual TanHoldings Tennis Classic last Sunday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan court.

The No. 2 seed pair prevailed in the opening set, 6-3, but the unranked Tan and Lai refused to give up early and eked out a 6-4 victory to bring the title match to a deciding super-tiebreaker third set. In the extended set, the Dunlops regained their bearings and posted a 10-6 triumph to clinch the division title and avoid the upset axe of Tan and Lai.

Before facing Marivic and Donn, Tan and David Lai first stunned the No. 1 seed duo of George Lai and Sally Lee in the semis of the upper half of the draw, 6-4, 6-2. Earlier in the opening round, Tan and David Lai also won over Cleofe Santos and Kam Wah Kwan, 6-1, 4-3 (retired).

At the lower half of the draw, the Dunlops drew a bye in the opening round and then topped Karen Ramsey and Landon Nadler in the semis, 6-1, 6-1, to advance to the finals.

Meanwhile, other doubles winners in the final week of the TanHoldings Tennis Classic were Roy Banados and George Poquiz, Chie Sato and Ken Imaya, and Donn Dunlop and Nicky Nichols.

Dunlop and Nichols also took three sets to get the men’s doubles 60-and-above championship. They won the first set of their title duel against David Lai and Eddie Wu, 6-4, while the latter pair recovered in the second, 6-3. In the super-tiebreaker third set, Dunlop and Nichols proved to be steadier in the homestretch after posting a 10-5 victory.

The No. 1 seed Dunlop and Nicholas made it to the finals following a 4-2, 4-1 victory over Nonoy Masinda and Bert Ventura, while Wu and David Lai gained the other finals ticket after sweeping Toshio Matsumura and Gary Ramsey, 6-2, 6-3.

In the men’s 50-and-above doubles, the winners were decided after three sets, too. The No. 2 seed Banados and Poquiz dropped the opening set of their finals duel against No. 1 Nichols and Joe Quitugua, 4-6, but remained in contention after bouncing back in the second in similar scores. Banados and Poquiz went on to complete their upset over their higher-seeded foes after earning a 10-6 victory in the super-tiebreaker third set.

The eventual champions also took the long route to the finals after slipping past Alexander Martin and Buboy Sergio in the semis, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. Nichols and Quitugua had the same tough win, outclassing Art Lopez and Diony Peralta, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 10-8.

In the mixed doubles 4.0, Sato and Imaya prevailed in the finals showdown between the Top 2 seeds in the division.

The No. 2 seed Imaya and Sato swept No. 2 Tan and Sam Lai in the finals, 6-1, 6-3. Sam and Tan earlier eked out a 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 victory over Otobe Mizuyo and Don Castillo in the semis to barge into the title game against Sato and Imaya—a 6-0, 6-1 winner over the Marivic and Nichols in the other Final Four pairing. Nichols and Marivic barged into the semis following a 3-6, 6-4, 12-10 triumph versus Santos and Lacbayo, while Mizuyo and Castillo completed the Final Four cast after eliminating Tisha Ferrer and Noel Biglete, 6-3, 6-3.

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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