Miyawaki, Heras debut in Margaret Court Cup


Isabel Heras, right, and Malika Miyawaki, second right, arrive in Australia along with other Pacific Oceania players in time for this weekend’s 2016 Commercial Club Margaret Court Cup in Albury, New South Wales. (Oceania Tennis)

CNMI junior players Isabel Heras and Malikawa Miyawaki will play their first game in the 2016 Commercial Club Margaret Court Cup this weekend in Albury, New South Wales in Australia.

Miyawaki is entered in both the girls U14 singles and doubles events, while Heras will be seeing action in the girls U16 singles and doubles competitions. The two Commonwealth players are part of the Pacific GSDF (Grand Slam Development Fund) Touring Team that has 17 other players from Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, Tahiti, American Samoa, and Vanuatu.

Miyawaki will be tested first in the doubles event this Saturday at the Albury Grasscourts. She will team up with Tahiti’s Lea Vainui Lamorelle and they are the only Pacific Oceania players entered in the division. Thirteen pairs will battle for the doubles championship with Australia’s Joy Andreaou and Emily Ioannou getting the No. 1 seed. Other seeded tandems are No. 1 Eilis Kruger and Keona Mendis, No. 3 Imogen Cameron and Ashleigh Simes, and No. 4 Chiara Di Tommaso and Charlie Hargreaves.

In tomorrow’s opening round match, Miyawaki and Lamorelle will go up against the fellow unseeded pair of Clare D’Alessandro and Lara Wighton at the lower half of the main draw.

In the singles division, the 14-year-old Miyawaki will be pitted against Australia’s Ella Fraser and if the CNMI bet survives the first round in the upper half of the bracket, she will be facing the third-ranked Ioannou in the second round.

In the girls U16 singles, Heras is also at the top half of the main draw and will challenge Kelsey Lewis. If the Saipan Community School student makes the grade in the opening round, she will earn the right to face the No. 3 seed Julia Ramos in the quarterfinals.

Heras is joined in the girls U16 singles main draw by three other Pacific Oceania players—Fiji’s Ruby Coffin and Vienna Kumar and Samoa’s Anasis Saipele.

In the doubles, Heras will partner with Saipele and they will play against three other pairs in a round-robin contest. The tandems of Coffin and Kumar, Ramos and Lewis, and Annaliese Quarisa and Alison Triggs complete the doubles field.

Meanwhile, the two CNMI players also suited up for the Pacific Oceania crew in the team event of the same tournament, which started yesterday, but results of their matches were unavailable at press time.

Heras and Miyawaki were selected on the elite team for their impressive performance in the North Pacific Regional Championships and the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships last year. They were the second batch of Commonwealth players who left Saipan in the last two months to compete in Australia. Last month, Carol Lee, Tania Ta, Robbie Schorr, Ken Song, and Conatsu Kaga were in Melbourne and represented the Pacific GSDF Touring Team to the individual and team competitions in the 2015 14/U and 12/U Australian Championships.

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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