Kim takes top spot


Helen Kim returns to Serin Chung during their girls U14 singles game in the 2020 Coconut Tennis Classic last February at the American Memorial Park tennis courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Saipan International School’s Helen Kim sits atop the girls U14 division in the CNMI Junior Tennis Rankings.

Kim got off to a good start, winning 1,250 points in the season-opening TanHoldings Tennis Classic in November last year and then added the 1,000 points she earned from the 2020 Coconut Tennis Classic last February to lead seven players in the age group rankings.

The 14-year-old player collected 1,000 points for clinching the singles championship in the TanHoldings tournament. She was undefeated in the round-robin competition, prevailing against Savita Sikkel, 6-2, 6-0; Sei Yul Hong, 6-0, 6-0; and Serin Chung, 7-5. 7-5. In the doubles, Kim partnered with Sikkel and they defeated Chung and Hong, 6-0, 6-3, to gain an additional 250 points each in the first tournament of the 2019-2020 season.

For her second competition, Kim was seeded first in the seven-player field in the Coconut Classic and did not drop a single set en route to another first place finish and 1,000 ranking points. She first swept Sikkel in the semis, 6-01, 6-1, and then outclassed Chung in the finals, 6-1, 6-2.

Chung, following her back-to-back runner-up finishes in the singles play, is at second place in the division rankings after logging 1,650 points. She got a pair of 750 points in the singles events and 150 in the doubles (third place with Hong) from the TanHoldings competition.

Sikkel is at third place with her 1,350 after earning 600 points (singles) and 250 (doubles) in the TanHoldings event and 500 (third place singles) in the Coconut Classic.

Joining Kim, Serin Chung, and Sikkel in the rankings are Hong (950), Hoo Wang (800), Yebin Shin (400), Seo Hee Lee (250), and Irin Chung (200).

The rankings may still change depending on the fate of the last two tournaments of the season—Bridge Capital Classic and CNMI Junior Championships. The Bridge Capital event started last month, but the junior competition has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the CNMI Junior Championships has been rescheduled to May 29 to 31 and June 5 to 7.

The rankings are used to select the CNMI players who will compete in the 2020 North Pacific Regional Championships, which has also been pushed back from June to July in Guam due to the pandemic.

Serin Chung hits back to Helen Kim during their girls U14 singles game in the 2020 Coconut Tennis Classic last February at the American Memorial Park tennis courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

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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