Hwang completes sweep

Juncheol Hwang gets ready to serve to Nason Wessel in their boys U12 singles title game in the 2019 DFS CNMI Junior Championships last Sunday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Juncheol Hwang claimed the boys U12 singles championships in all three competitions under Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association’s calendar of events for the 2018-2019 season.

Hwang earned the sweep following a 6-0, 6-1 triumph over perennial rival Nason Wessel in the 2019 DFS CNMI Junior Championships last Sunday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts. Hwang also defeated Wessel, 6-2, 6-3, in the boys U12 singles finale in the 19th Pacific Islands Club Tennis Championships last month, while the former’s first title in the division was recorded in the 2019 White Coconut Tennis Classic in February against June Yu, 6-1, 6-1.

Hwang arranged his second straight finals showdown against Wessel after dominating Wataku Kadokura in the semifinals, 6-0, 6-0. Kadokura marched into the Final Four following a 6-1, 4-6, 10-5 triumph over Kisuk Lee. Wessel, on the other hand, stunned No. 2 seed June Yu in the semis, 6-4, 6-3, for another title duel with Hwang. Yu settled the for the third place honors after downing Kadokura, 6-4, 6-4.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Dana Lee took the girls U12 singles crown after defeating the unranked Hoo Wang in the finals, 6-3, 6-0.

Lee barged into the championship game after prevailing against Seiyul Hong, 6-3, 7-5, while Wang advanced off a walkover win against No. 1 seed Irin Chung. Before losing in the semifinals, Wang won over Anna Kwon, 6-3, 6-7 (6), 10-7, while Hong outclassed Savita Sikkel, 6-4, 6-4. Hong ended up in third place, while Sikkel triumphed in the other consolation match after outlasting Kwon, 4-6, 6-4, 12-10.

In other results, Lee earned twin wins in the U12 age group, as she and Irin Chung edged Sikkel and Wang in the doubles, 6-3, 7-5.

In the girls U14 singles, which had a round-robin format, Hyejin Elliot notched the division title after beating Serin Chung, 6-2, 6-0, and Helen Kim, 6-1, 6-0. Kim got the runner-up honors after edging Chung, 6-3, 6-2.

Elliot also bagged the girls U18 doubles championship with Maria Gregoire as the duo was undefeated in the round-robin contest. Elliot and Gregoire prevailed over Serin and Malika Miyawaki, 6-3, 6-2, and Hong and Kim, 6-2, 6-0. Chung and Miyawaki upended Hong and Kim, 6-1, 6-1, to place second.

Miyawaki and Gregoire played in the girls U18 singles division, too with the former winning the head-to-head match, 6-0, 6-1.

In the girls U10 singles, Lina Tsukagoshi earned a 2-0 mark to rule the division. She won over Ellie Cho, 6-2, and Eunbeen Hwang, 6-1.

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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