Lopez, Lee split division titles


Mikayla Lopez and Carol Lee faced off in the finals twice and split division titles in the 2015 Coconut Tennis Classic that concluded last Monday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts.

Mikayla Lopez checks on Carol Lee’s position first before serving during their girls U18 title match in the 2015 Coconut Tennis Classic last Monday at the AMP tennis courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Mikayla Lopez checks on Carol Lee’s position first before serving during their girls U18 title match in the 2015 Coconut Tennis Classic last Monday at the AMP tennis courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Lopez got the first championship after beating Lee, 6-2, 6-1, in their morning title duel in the women’s singles event. Lopez, who was seeded first in the division and drew a bye in the five-player draw made it to the finals following a 6-2, 6-1 win over eventual third placer Negahr Rastguiy. Rastguiy arranged a semis tiff against Lopez after eliminating Malika Miyawaki, 6-1, 6-0.

Lee also drew a bye in the first round and marched into the finals after ousting Tan, 6-1, 6-0, but failed to notch the all-important win against Lopez in the finals.

After the morning loss, Lee returned to the AMP courts in the afternoon for the girls U18 division title match and avenged her defeat with a 6-1, 6-3 victory. Lee dethroned Lopez, who topped last year’s contest, which also had a round-robin format and featured the former, Rastguiy, and Alina Ishikawa. This year, only three entered the division with Lee beating Rastguiy in the opening week, 6-1, 6-0, and Lopez prevailing against the latter (via walkover) also in the first week of the two-weekend competition.

Joining Lee and Lopez in the champions’ circle were Mimi Sakano, Erika Tuttle, Isabel Heras, and Tiara Imai.

Sakano bagged the girls U14 singles crown after outlasting Malika Miyawaki in last Monday’s finale, 1-6, 6-1, 12-10. The eventual champion earlier had an easier semis foe in Asia Raulerson, cruising to a 6-2, 6-1 win to barge into the finals. Miyawaki, on the other hand, struggled before in her first set win against Conatsu Kaga, 7-5, before coasting to a 6-1 triumph in the second set. Kaga rounded out the Top 3 following an 8-5 victory over Raulerson.

In the girls U12 singles finals, Tuttle won against Conatsu’s younger sister Coume, 6-4, 6-3. Tuttle’s title win completed the upset in the division as she earlier eliminated the top-ranked Maria Gregoire in the semifinals, 6-3, 6-2, before downing the second-seeded Coume. Tuttle also prevailed against Maaya Sato, 6-2, 6-1 to march into the semis against Gregoire, while Kaga defeated Ellie Epley, 6-0, 6-2, and Riko Ojima, 6-2, 6-1. Gregoire settled for third place after an 8-6 win versus Ojima in the consolation match.

In the girls U16 singles, which implemented a round-robin format, Isabel Heras went unbeaten to rule the four-player field. She secured the division championship after sweeping Tania Tan last Monday, 6-3, 6-2. Heras’ two other victories were against Caitlyn Tinney (walkover) and Ami Tsukagoshi, 6-1, 6-1, while Tan also won against the two to take the runner-up honors.

The girls U10 division had a round-robin format with Imai sweeping her three matches to win the championship. She clinched the title following a 6-3 victory against Hyejin Elliot. Imai’s first two triumphs were against Soleil Lamar, 6-2, and Michelle Ryu, 6-1. Elliot finished second, while Ryu completed the Top 3.

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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