Pacific Oceania loses to Estonia in return to Group 2


Pacific Oceania team captain Aymeric Mara of Vanuatu huddles with his doubles team of Colin Sinclair of the CNMI and Brett Baudinet of the Cook Islands during their Group II Davis Cup match against Estonia last Saturday weekend at the Forus Tenniscentre in Tallinn, Estonia. (OTF)

Pacific Oceania was swept by Estonia in the Islanders’ return to Group II of Davis Cup competition last weekend at the Forus Tenniscentre in Tallinn, Estonia.

The No. 6 seeds banked on the veteran savvy of their ATP-ranked players to win the first two singles matches on Friday before securing the win by taking the doubles match last Saturday. They made it 4-0 by also winning the dead rubber singles later that day.

According to the Oceania Tennis Federation website, Clement Mainguy of Vanuatu lost the first singles match against the veteran Jurgen Zoop, 6-2, 6-4, in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Mainguy dropped serve in the third and seventh games of the first set and the fifth game of the second set.

In the second singles, the CNMI’s very own Colin Sinclair lost to Mark Lajal, 7-5,7-5, in 1 hour and 34 minutes. Sinclair started the match well breaking Lajal in the opening game, but then had his serve broken in the fourth game and the set-deciding 12th game to lose the set 7-5. The second set was a similar pattern with Sinclair breaking serve in the third game to lead 2-1, but then lost his serve in the eighth and the match-deciding 12th game to lose the match, 7-5, 7-5.

Facing a must-win on Saturday, Sinclair teamed up with longtime partner Brett Baudinet of the Cook Islands, but their familiarity with each other proved no match against Zoop and Kenneth Raisma and they lost, 6-4, 6-2, in 1 hour and 4 minutes. In the dead rubber singles, Matthew Stubbing of Papua New Guinea was beaten, 6-2, 6-2, by Vladimir

Before their tie against Estonia, Sinclair said the team was very optimistic that they will be able to give the favored home team a run for their money.

“They have a very strong team. Their No. 1 player (Zoop) used to be No. 70 in the world 10 years ago, but he retired two of three years ago and hasn’t been playing full time. Hopefully he’s a little rusty and will have a better chance against him. They have a good team, but I think we’re very capable of winning this week which is very exciting.”

Sinclair, who is ranked No. 667 in singles in the ATP, said before facing Estonia, Pacific Oceania was doing very well in preparing for the tie.

“Everyone is playing well and I played a tournament with Brett last week in Tunisia and we worked on our doubles combinations. It’s going to be a long three days. I think I’m going to play three matches in two days. But I’m very excited. We have the biggest team we’ve ever had. We’re getting a lot of good time on court. Just getting used to the indoor hardcourt conditions because we’re from the islands no one plays in indoor courts so much because we don’t have those facilities The courts are pretty quick but I think that works for our team. We’re a team that plays aggressive.”

He added that the tie in Estonia is historic since it’s the first time Pacific Oceania has ever played outside of the Asia-Pacific region.

“This was the first time Pacific Oceania has made it outside of the Asia-Pacific region because of the change in Davis Cup about 4-5 years ago. Before Group II was just for the Asia-Pacific region and now it’s the whole world. This was our first chance to get out of the Asia-Pacific region and play somewhere completely different. We’re coming here to negative temperatures and kind of one of the more remote northern countries in Europe and I’m excited for the team for this new experience. Thank you Plexipave with all the cold-weather gear that we needed,” he said.

The Pacific Oceania team captain is Aymeric Mara of Vanuatu and the manager is Richard Breen.

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

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