Pacific Oceania faces Estonia in return to Group II


The CNMI’s Colin Sinclair, standing right, poses with the rest of the Pacific Oceania team days before their tie against Estonia in Group II of the Davis Cup competition at the Forus Tenniscentre in Tallinn, Estonia.(OTF)

The Pacific Oceania team, bannered by the CNMI’s Colin Sinclair, will take on Estonia today and tomorrow in its return to Group II of the Davis Cup competition at the Forus Tenniscentre in Tallinn, Estonia.

Sinclair is the only ATP-ranked player for Pacific Oceania, which is also made up Clement Mainguy of Vanuatu, Matthew Stubbings of Papua New Guinea, and Brett Baudinet of the Cook Islands. Sinclair is currently ranked No. 667 in singles and 596 in doubles. Aymeric Mara of Vanuatu is serving as captain in their tie against the Baltic country.

They will go up against an Estonia side that has all five of its players ranked in the ATP. Jurgen Zopp has the highest ATP ranking at No. 796 in singles and 915 in doubles, followed by Vladimir Ivanov (938 in singles and 746 in doubles), Kenneth Raisma (1,139 and 1,249), Kristjan Tamm (1,152 and 90), and Mark Lajal (1,232 and 1,943). Estonia will be skippered by Ekke Tiidemann.

Mara, in a social media message to Saipan Tribune, said the Pacific Oceania team can’t wait to hit the court against players from Estonia in its first tie since being promoted to Group II last September.

“The team morale is very high as we all know each other well and feed on each other’s energy. The Pacific spirit is strong in us and representing our colors is powerful to us. The players have been training every day, twice a day in order to figure the best possible formation to be as efficient as possible,” he said.

Mara said Sinclair being their only player ranked in the ATP will assume the No. 1 spot with Mainguy getting the nod for the No. 2 spot. æ

“Colin Sinclair has been training hard as he will be playing N1 and has tough matches ahead of him. He will also be playing doubles with Brett Baudinet, a player he has been playing doubles with for a while now. The ranking selection for the team currently will be Colin Sinclair as N1, Clement Mainguy N2, and Brett Baudinet/Colin Sinclair in the doubles, but any of this can still change depending on the result of the first two singles,” he said.

Asked what’s the team’s strategy against Estonia, who are not only playing on home soil but have five ATP-ranked players in its lineup, Mara said they will rely heavily on Sinclair and of course the islanders’ vaunted fighting spirt.

“We don’t have a specific strategy as Colin Sinclair is our only ATP ranked player. Therefore he will be our strongest weapon against Estonia. Our team spirit and fire to fight on court for every point is our best tactic.”

Mara also shared his thoughts on the situation in Ukraine, which like Estonia used to be a republic of the former Soviet Union.

“The Ukraine situation is very saddening and we all wish this wasn’t happening. That being said, it has no effect on our daily lives or daily trainings here in Estonia as the distance between Estonia and Ukraine is great,” he said.

On Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association treasurer Lydia Tan wished Sinclair and the rest of the Pacific Oceania team luck in their tie against Estonia.

“All the best and good luck to Colin and Pacific Oceanic team. Go for the big win and have a great match/game. We will be cheering from Saipan!” she said.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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