Miyawaki, Kwon survive finale


David Kwon chases the ball at the baseline during his and Malika Miyawaki’s finals match against Sam Ryu and Min Cho in the U18 advanced doubles event in the Saipan International School Student Council Tennis Tournament last Sunday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan tennis courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Malika Miyawaki and David Kwon were put to the test in the finals of the U18 advanced doubles event of the Saipan International School Student Council Tennis Tournament and passed it.

Kwon and Miyawaki went through three sets before beating Sam Ryu and Min Cho last Sunday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan tennis courts and clinching the last title at stake in the two-weekend competition. The winning duo prevailed in the first set 4-2, but failed to finish the finals early when Ryu and Cho pulled off a tough 4-3 victory in the second to force the decider. In the third set, the opposing teams went back-and-forth anew and they were forced to play extended minutes before Kwon and Miyawaki escaped with a 5-3 triumph.

The eventual champions’ hard-earned win over Ryu and Cho was the only three-set match they played in the division. In their first game, Miyawaki and Kwon dominated Daniel Heo and Jaehoon Son, 4-0, 4-1. Then in the semiifnals, Kwon and Miyawaki also took only to two sets to eliminate Daniel Kang and Andrew Chung, 4-2, 4-3. Kang and Chung set up a semis showdown against Miyawaki and Kwon after slipping past Anthony Gregoire and Helen Kim, 4-3, 1-4, 5-2, at the lower half of the draw.

At the upper half, Ryu and Cho marched into the finals after sweeping Isaac Heo and Serin Chung, 4-3, 4-1, and Steven Goodwin and Jeffrey Seo, 4-3, 4-3. Seo and Goodwin barged into the semis following a 4-2, 4-2 triumph over Allan Lee and Andy Kim.

Meanwhile, two other pairs secured doubles titles in the fundraising tournament.

Juncheol Hwang and Anna Kwon notched the U12 doubles crown after outclassing Serin Chung and Hoo Wang in straight sets, 4-2, 4-3. Earlier, the finalists also needed only two sets to boot out their respective semis opponents with Hwang and Kwon downing Andy and Dana Lee, 4-0, 4-0, and Serin Chung and Wang topping Irin Chung and Savita Sikkel, 4-2, 4-2. Chung and Sikkel went on to settle for third place after outlasting the Lees, 7-5.

In the U18 novice doubles finale, Alex Park and Junhee Lee prevailed over Gillian Villagomez and Cole Chambers, 4-1, 4-1. Park and Lee clinched the division championship without dropping a single set in the tournament as they also swept Andy Cho and Junbum Huh, 4-3, 4-0, and Michael Lee and Grace Choi, 4-0, 4-1, in the earlier games. Villagomez and Chambers, on the other hand, had a tougher first victory against A.J. Hudkins and Brian Kim, 3-4, 4-0, 5-4, while their second (versus Mauryzon Tybaco and Kuu Nishimura) was won via straight sets, 4-2, 4-2.

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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