Kang, Gregoire take doubles title


Daniel Kang returns to Richard Steele during their title game in the boys U12 singles division of the 8th Annual Tan Holdings Tennis Classic last Sunday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan tennis courts. (Contributed Photo)

Daniel Kang completed a sweep of the boys U12 division competition in the 8th Annual Tan Holdings Tennis Classic after winning the doubles championship with Anthony Gregoire.

Kang, who stunned top-ranked Richard Steele in the boys U12 singles finals, and Gregoire earned a perfect mark (3-0) in the round-robin contest to clinch the doubles crown in their division. The champion pair secured the doubles title after easing past Andrew Chung and Brandon Lee, 6-1, 6-3, last Sunday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan tennis courts.

Earlier in their second game last Saturday, Gregoire and Kang also took only two sets to beat Jae Yun and Min Gi Jung, 6-0, 6-2. Before their two straight easy victories, Kang and Gregoire had their acid test right in their first game last Friday as they needed three sets to thwart Steele and Rintaro Miyawaki. The eventual winners prevailed in the first set, 6-2, but failed to close out the match early when Steele and Miyawaki sprung a 7-6 (5) victory in the second to extend the game. In the deciding super-tiebreaker third set, the opposing teams went back and forth before Kang and Gregoire escaped with a thrilling 14-12 victory.

Miyawaki and Steele, after losing their first doubles match, went on to sweep their remaining two games to settle for the runner-up honors in the division. They dominated Chung and Lee last Saturday, 6-1, 6-1, and downed the Jung siblings last Sunday in similar scores. Jae Yun and Min Gi Jung were ranked third as it earlier defeated Chung and Lee, 6-4, 6-4.

In the other doubles contest (girls U16) in the opening week of the annual tournament, Conatsu Kaga teamed up with Malika Miyawaki in topping her younger sister Coume and Tania Tan, 6-2, 6-2.

Meanwhile, after missing the Week 1 action of the TanHoldings Tennis Classic, junior world No. 471 Carol Lee headlines the highly anticipated men’s open singles competition.

Lee is seeded first in the field and will play at the top half of the draw. She will have her first game this Friday against fellow junior player Ken Song. Two more junior players will duel at the upper half of the draw with boys U16 singles champion Michael Ren taking on Vincent Tudela.

At the lower half of the draw, No. 2 seed and former CNMI National Team member Bobby Cruz will face boys U14 singles runner-up Ji Min Woo, while former boys U18 champion Moris Villanueva will challenge Saipan Tennis Academy teaching pro Peter Loken.

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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