Moris Villanueva outlasted Tommy Choi in a marathon match in the co-ed U18 singles division finals of the 6th Tan Holdings Tennis Classic last Sunday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan tennis courts.
Villanueva pulled off a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3) win in the more than three hours title match to make it to the champions list in the opening week of the two-weekend tournament.
The exciting finale, which left the exhausted Choi still cramping several minutes after the match concluded, featured the Top 2 seeds in the draw. Villanueva was ranked first and won his first match convincingly after dominating Woo Sun Cho last Friday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan Court 2, 6-0, 6-0. The eventual champion was then pitted against female player Mikayla Lopez and remained unbeaten after notching a 6-2, 6-3 victory at Fiesta Court 2. The straight set win also gave Villanueva the first finals berth.
Choi was also undefeated in the first two games in the lower half of the draw to cinch the second finals seat. The second-ranked Choi started his title bid with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Colin Ramsey last Friday before eliminating the second female entry in the field—Negahr Rastguiy—6-3, 6-0.
Rastguiy and Lopez were left to battle for the third place trophy and the latter prevailed in the pro-set match last Sunday at Hyatt Court 2, 8-4. Before faltering in their respective finals bids, Lopez and Rastguiy both won their opening matches. Lopez was paired against Luther Lizama and eked out a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 victory, while Rastguiy downed Michael Ren in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1.
Lizama battled back in the consolation bracket, topping Ramsey, 8-4, to finish fifth in the draw. Ren also won his consolation game after dominating Cho, 8-1.
Meanwhile, in the boys U14 singles, Robbie Schorr bested seven other participants to bring home the division crown in the annual event for the first time.
Schorr, who notched last year’s boys U12 title, added the U14 plum to his collection after sweeping Vincent Tudela in last Sunday’s finals at Fiesta, 6-0, 6-4.
It was an upset win for Schorr, as the second-ranked player defeated his top-seeded foe. Schorr moved one win away from bagging the division title after eliminating A.J. Hudkins last Friday, 6-1, 6-1, and topping Tony Kim last Saturday, 6-3, 6-3. Tudela, on the other hand, won over Steven Goodwin, 6-2, 3-6, 10-5, and against Clayton Izuka, 6-1, 6-0, to arrange the title showdown between the Top 2 seeds in the draw.
Joining Schorr and Tudela in the Top 3 was Kim, who defeated Izuka in the consolation match last Sunday, 8-2. Ken Song and Haruya Eda also prevailed in their respective loser’s bracket matches. Kong wound up in fifth place after routing Goodwin, 8-1, while Eda avoided the cellar after beating Hudkins, 8-4.