Tony Kim and four others were crowned new champions in the 2014 CNMI Junior Tennis Championships at the conclusion of make-up matches over the weekend at the Pacific Islands Club hard courts.
Kim, who finished third last year behind Robbie Schorr and Vincent Tudela, this time topped the boys U12 singles after sweeping Ken Song in the finals last Saturday, 6-3, 6-4. The Kim-Song finale was originally set for last April 27, but all the games in the final week of the annual tournament were cancelled due to heavy rains.
Joining Kim on the list of new winners in Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association’s last tournament for the 2013-2014 season were Moris Villanueva, Rintaro Miyawaki, Eric Tuttle, and Conatsu Kaga. Villanueva pulled off an upset in the boys U18 singles after surviving last year’s finalist Tommy Choi in the title match, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Earlier in the semifinals, Villanueva eliminated 2013 champion Amami Sakano, 6-0, 6-0, while Choi barged into the finals after a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Daniel Park. Sakano settled for third place this year after downing Park in the consolation game, 8-2.
Miyawaki, who placed third last year, made a big leap last weekend after ruling the boys U10 singles. Miyawaki went unbeaten in the round-robin tournament, securing the championship after a 6-2 win over Ji Min Woo (2-1).
In the girls U10 singles, Tuttle, who was ranked sixth in last year’s competition, dominated the nine-player field this season, capping her impressive run in the tournament with a 7-6 (7-1) victory over Maria Gregoire. Tuttle advanced to the finals after eliminating top seed Naha Ojima, 7-6 (7-4), while Gregoire took the second finals seat after downing Maaya Sato, 6-3. Ojima won the battle for third place against Sato, 6-3.
In the girls U12 singles, Kaga, last year’s seventh finisher, prevailed in the round-robin tournament after beating Susan Sablan, 6-3, 3-6 6-2, and Jireh Warren, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Warren took the runner-up honors after a 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 win over Sablan.
Completing the tournament’s singles winners were Luther Lizama and Isabel Heras, who reigned supreme in the U14 division. Lizama bagged the championship coasting past Tudela in the finals, 6-0, 6-1, while Heras eked out a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 title win over top-ranked Tania Tan.
Meanwhile, the three doubles events were also completed last weekend with Sean Lee and Aditya Rai, Choi and Sakano, and Tudela and Tony Kim topping their respective divisions.
Lee and Rai nailed the boys U12 crown after defeating Daniel Kang and Woo, 3-6, 6-2, 10-5, and Eugene and Eu Bin Park, 6-4, 6-1. Kang and Woo finished second after winning over the Park brothers, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).
In the co-ed U18 doubles, Sakano and Choi gained the division title after working out a 7-5, 4-6, 10-4 win over Jake Lee and Thea Minor, while in the boys U14 doubles, Tony Kim and Tudela won over Schorr and Steve Goodwin, 6-2, 6-3, and Haruya Eda and Song, 6-2, 6-3.