Miyawaki targets back-to-back titles



Rintaro Miyawaki aims for back-to-back titles as the 2016 White Coconut Tennis Classic kicks off this weekend at the Pacific Islands Club hard court.

Miyawaki, who won his boys U12 singles debut in the same tournament last year after stunning Ji Min Woo in the finals, 6-4, 6-2, will be defending his division crown against seven players. He will start his title defense bid against Jae Hoon Son tomorrow when they collide at 11am .

Also scheduled for tomorrow at 9:30am is the game between Richard Steele and Seung Won Lee with the winner facing the victor of the Miyawaki-Son tiff in the semifinals at the lower half of the bracket.

At the top half of the bracket, the two pairings are Daniel Kang against Anthony Gregoire and Min Jin Cho versus Chris Yu and both matches will be played this Sunday.

Besides the boys U12 singles contest, six other events will be played in the annual tournament.

In the girls U14 singles, seven will fight for the division crown. The list includes Asia Raulerson, who got a bye in the opening round, Riko Ojima, Coume Kaga, Rei Sekiguchi, Erika Tuttle, Maaya Sato, and Maria Gregoire. Ojima and Kaga will square off tomorrow at 9:30am, while the two other preliminary games featuring the showdowns of Gregoire-Sato and Sekiguchi-Tuttle are scheduled for Sunday at 12:30pm.

In the boys U14 singles, there will be a pair of games in the upper half of the draw this Saturday with Woo meeting Jeffrey Seo and Sean Lee challenging Eugene Park. At the lower half, Go Sekiguchi will duel Allan Lee this Sunday at 9:30am, while Sam Ryu and Seung Jin Paik will collide in the 11am tiff.

In the U16 division, Isabel Heras leads the girls field and will be joined by Malika Miyawaki, Mimi Sakano, Ami Tsukagoshi, Conatsu Kaga, Grace Choi and Tania Tan. Heras had a bye in the opening round, while Malika and Conatsu will play against Sakano and Tan, respectively, on Sunday. The lone game in the division this Saturday will have Tsukagoshi battling Choi.

In the boys U16, Moris Villanueva and Colin Ramsey are the Top 2 seeds. Completing the field are Steven Goodwin and A.J. Hudkins, Michael Ren, Tony Kim, Ken Song, Robbie Schoor, and Vincent Tudela. Ren and Song will be paired in the quarterfinals, while other Round of 8 matchups are Kim vs Schorr and Tudela vs Ramsey. Goodwin and Hudkins will meet this Saturday for the right to face Villanueva in the quarterfinals.

Five players from the boys U16 singles will also see action in the men’s singles. Schorr, Song, Tudela, Ramsey, and Villanueva are entered in the men’s field, joining veteran Bobby Cruz, Fiesta Resort teaching pro Peter Loken, and lone female player Carol Lee.

Meanwhile, as a tradition, this year’s Coconut Classic will have the mixed-up doubles. Thirty-one pairs will compete in the unique event with Villanueva and Raulerson getting a bye in the opening round and the rest of the entries playing in the opening day tomorrow.

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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