Favored pairs prevail

Serin Chung gets ready to serve to Yebin Shin during their girls U14 singles game in the 2019 White Coconut Tennis Classic last Saturday at the American Memorial Park courts. Serin is also playing in the mixed doubles and she and Gang Min Kim are in the quarterfinals. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Six seeded pairs lived up to expectations, while two unranked ones made it to the quarterfinal round of the mixed doubles event in the 2019 White Coconut Tennis Classic after the first weekend of games at the American Memorial Park.

No. 1 Vincent Tudela and Juncheol Hwang and No. 2 Andrew Chung and Jimin Woo remained in contention for the division title after marching into the Round of 8 of the 29-team field. Tudela and Hwang eliminated Marivic Dunlop and Savita Sikkel, 6-1, 6-3, to notch one of the four quarterfinals berths at the upper half of the draw. Sikkel and Dunlop dueled Tudela and Hwang following a 6-3, 3-6, 10-3 triump over Chris Nelson and Ki Suk Lee.

Joining Tudela and Hwang to the next round were No. 8 Jeff Race and Hoo Wang, No. 4 Jun Wang and Tania Tan, and the unseeded duo of Gang Min Kim and Serin Chung. Race and Hoo Wang eased their way to the quarterfinals after sweeping Eugene Park and June Lim, 6-2, 6-0, and Andy Kim and Anne Lee, 6-0, 6-0. Lee and Kim, before losing in their Round of 8 bid, edged Ami Tsukagoshi and Yutaka Kadokura, 7-6, 2-6, 10-5. Jun Wang and Tan, on the other hand, needed only two sets to beat David Kwon and Wataru, 6-0, 6-2, and advance to the quarterfinals. Tan and Jun Wang will face Gang Min and Serin, who labored through a 7-5, 7-6 victory against No. 7 seed Tommy Choi and Ji Eun Kwon to stay in the race for the division crown. Choi and Ji Eun earlier downed Lydia Tan and Yebin Shin, 6-2, 6-3, to move into the second round of the top half of the bracket.

At the bottom half of the draw, Chung and Woo led the Round of 8 qualifiers following a 7-6, 6-2 win over Peter Loken and June Yu. Loken and Yu set up a Round 2 duel match against the No. 2 seed pair after outclassing Donn Dunlop and Ki Won Lee in the opening round last Saturday, 6-1, 6-4.

Daniel Kang and Ye Jin Son also prevailed in straight sets against No. 5 seed Steven Goodwin and Eubin Park, 2-6, 6-1, 10-8, to march into the quarterfinals. Goodwin and Eubin, before a tough loss in the second round, coasted past Ji Hoon Lee and Malika Miyawaki in the opener, 6-1, 6-1.

Meanwhile, No. 3 Robbie Schorr and Daniel Heo and No. 6 Sam Ryu and Jaehoon Son rounded out the quarterfinals cast. Schorr and Heo soldiered on after a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Anthony Gregoire and Helen Kim—a 6-4, 7-6 winner over Maria Gregoire and Dain Lee in the first round. Ryu and Jaehoon also prevailed in straight sets against Hyunmin Cho in the first round, 6-4, 6-3, and remained undefeated following a 6-1, 6-3 victory versus Allan and Cory Lee to make it to the Round of 8. Corry and Allan arranged the battle for the quarterfinals slot against Ryu and Jaehoon after ousting Mayuko Arriola and Eun Been Hwang, 6-2, 7-5.

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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