Siblings Coume and Conatsu Kaga bagged the girls U18 doubles title in the 9th Annual TanHoldings Tennis Classic after downing Malika Miyawaki and Tania Tan, 6-4, 6-4, last Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan courts.
The championship was first for the Kaga sisters this year since leaving Saipan in January to train at the ITF/OTF Regional Training Center in Fiji. Coume and Kaga received a scholarship from the Oceania Tennis Federation after their outstanding performance in the 2016 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships and stayed in Fiji for nearly 10 months to compete there and in Australia and New Caledonia.
They returned to Saipan last month and also entered the girls U18 event of the TanHoldings Tennis Classic. Coume and Conatsu collided in the battle for third place last Saturday with the latter edging the former, 9-8 (6) to join Tania Tan and Isabel Heras in the podium.
Heras clinched the singles crown after surviving Tan in the extended finale. Heras prevailed in the opening set, 6-0, but failed to close out the match early when Tan recovered with a 6-2 triumph. Then in the super-tiebreaker third set, Heras regained her formed and registered a 10-5 win.
The eventual champion moved into the finals after beating Conatsu in the semis, 6-3, 6-1. The older Kaga marched into the semis following a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Maria Gregoire, while the former’s sister Coume edged Miyawaki, 7-6 (5), 6-2. Coume then challenged Tan for the second finals berth and the latter won, 6-2, 6-4, to arrange a finals duel against Heras.
In other results, Helen Kim and Hye Jin Elliot were unbeaten in two games to get the girls U12 doubles championship.
Kim and Elliot first swept Dana Lee and Hoo Wang last Friday, 6-0, 6-1, and then recorded another victory after two sets against Serin Chung and Savia Sikkel last Sunday, 6-0, 6-3, to rule the division. Lee and Wang settled for the runner-up honors as they earlier defeated Chung and Sikkel last Saturday, 6-4, 7-6 (2).