The CNMI’s Anthony Gregoire and David Kwon were tested in their opening game in the boys U12 team event in the 2018 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships and survived following a 2-1 victory over in Fiji yesterday.
Kwon played in the singles 1 and swept Samuel Nicolaus at the Northern Club Court 3 in Fiji. The CNMI bet cruised to a 6-2 win in the first set before laboring through a 7-5 triumph in the second. In the other singles tiff, Gregoire was neck-and-neck with Yash Morriswala in the opening set before the Fiji player pulled off a 7-6 (3) triumph and then followed it up with a 6-3 win in the second to tie the match.
In the deciding doubles game, it was another close match with Gregoire and Kwon needing a super-tiebreak third set to secure the victory. The CNM duo prevailed in the extended opening set, 7-6 (3), but missed the sweep when the Fiji pair bounced back in the second, 6-3. Gregoire and Kwon then regrouped in the decider, showing poise in the homestretch with a 10-8 triumph.
Gregoire and Kwon and their Fiji foes are in Group B of the pool play with players from Vanuatu 2, Tahiti, and Pacific. After the round-robin play, the Top 2 teams in Group B will advance to the semis and challenge their counterparts in Group A, which has Vanuatu 1, Cook Islands, East Boys, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Next up for Kwon and Gregoire are Vanuatu 2’s Corenthin Mainguy and Jean Pierre Manu, who were shut down by Tahiti’s Herman Chang and Noah Ah Kim Win Chin in the other opening match in Group B.
Meanwhile, the No. 3 seed Coume Kaga won her first match in the girls U14 singles after sweeping the Cook Islands’ Te Akaiti Toa, 6-3, 6-4.
Sean Lee was the other CNMI bet that won his opening match in the individual events in POJC after topping Vanuatu’s Warea Tigona in the boys U16 singles, 6-3, 6-2.
Ken Song, Sam Ryu, and Maria Gregoire are also entered in the U16 singles, but dropped their first match. Tahiti’s Mohearii Pilin defeated Song, 6-3, 6-3, while Vanuatu’s Desiree Digno slipped past Gregoire, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, and No. 2 Clement Mainguy of Vanuatu shut down Ryu, 6-0, 6-0.
Malika Miyawaki and Conatsu Kaga were scheduled to play their first game in the girls U16 singles, too yesterday, but results of their match versus Luisa Tuasi’l and Tahiti’s Lea Lamorelle, respectively, were unavailable as of press time.