Kang, Chung avoid upset axe


Irin Chung, left, serves during her and Daniel Kang’s mixed-up doubles game against Cody Shimizu and Edwin Simbulan in the 2021 White Coconut Tennis Classic last Monday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The No. 1 seeded pair of Daniel Kang and Irin Chung averted elimination from the mixed-up doubles event in the 2021 White Coconut Tennis Classic after surviving a super-tiebreaker third set in the quarterfinals last Monday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts.

Kang and Chung dropped the opening set of their game against No. 5 seed Cody Shimizu and Edwin Simbulan, 5-7, but avoided the latter’s upset axe after bouncing back in the second set, 6-2. With the match even, the opposing teams had to play in a supertiebreaker third set and Kang and Chung rode on the momentum of their second set victory to pull off an 11-9 triumph over Simbulan and Shimizu.

With the come-from-behind win, Kang and Chung took one of the two semis seats at the upper half of the draw. The No. 1 seed earlier swept Ian Chae and Lydia Tan, 6-3, 7-5, and Dev Bachani and Grace Choi, 6-3, 7-6, to set up a semis duel against Shimizu and Simbulan.

Kang and Chung’s semifinals foes will be No. 6 seed Min Seoung Kim and Sean Lee, who recorded all three victories at the top half of the draw via straight sets. Kim and Lee clinched a semis ticket after ousting No. 12 Si Woo Lee and Andy Kim, 6-4, 6-4. Min Seoung and Sean’s two other victories were against Quintin Ramsey and Ji Jun Park, 6-2, 6-3, and Mat Murphy and Anna Kwon, 6-3, 6-4.

Edwin Simbulan returns to Irin Chung and Daniel Kang during the mixed-up doubles game in the 2021 White Coconut Tennis Classic last Monday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

In the other semis pairing in the mixed-up doubles event, it will be No. 2 seed Dong Min Lee and Hoo Wang against No. 3 Simon Tang and Sam Ryu. The two pairs labored past their respective quarterfinals opponents with Dong Min and Wang eking out a 4-6, 6-1, 11-9 win over No. 8 Jun Yu and Gerald Boyer and Tang and Ryu outlasting No. 7 Wataru Kadokura and Bishop Ryan Jimenez, 6-3, 1-6, 10-8.

The semis and finals will be played this weekend along with the title games in the men’s and women’s singles, boys and girls U12 and U14 singles, boys U16 singles, co-ed U10, and the men’s over 40 singles.

The men’s over 40 singles championship will be a battle between the Top 2 seeds, as No. 1 Peter Loken prevailed against Dong Min in the first semis game last Sunday, 6-0, 6-2, and No. 2 Tomas Abel won over Eric Abragan in the second semis tiff, 6-1, 6-1.

In the women’s singles, Serin Chung notched the first finals berth after downing Elizabeth Culp, 6-2, 6-2. Serin will meet in the title game the winner in the semis duel between Hye Jin Elliot and Grace Choi, who reached the Final Four following an 8-5 win over Yuko Kumada.

In the girls U12 singles, Isa Nishitani and Hannah Chae will battle for the division title. Nishitani advanced to the finals after stunning No. 1 seed Lina Tsukagoshi, 6-3, 6-3, while Chae marched on following her 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Anne Lee.

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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