Negahr Rastguiy and Malika Miyawaki fell short in their respective bids in the singles competition in the 2015 Coconut Tennis Classic, but still managed to bring home top honors after winning the mixed-up doubles contest.
The two junior players clinched the championship in the event’s unique pairing after sweeping the pair of men’s open champion Luke Beling and fellow young netter Erie Ortega, 7-5, 6-3, last Monday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts.
Rastguiy, who finished third in the women’s open and girls U18 singles and Ortega, a fifth placer in the girls U12 singles, marched into the finals of the mixed-up doubles after eliminating the tandem of coach Jeff Race and his student Richard Steele, 6-4, 6-0, in the semis of the bottom half of the draw.
Race and Steele, who rounded out the Top 3, made it to the Final Four after notching victories against the pairs of Sakiko Eda and Joshua Abragan, 6-2, 6-4; Jack McClure and Grace Choi, 6-3, 6-1; and Luther Lizama and Allan Lee, 6-4, 6-0.
Miyawaki and Rastguiy, the second-ranked duo in the draw, on the other hand, needed only two wins to advance to the semis. They first beat Nicky Nichols and A.J. Hudkins, 6-0, 6-0, and then topped Fr. Ryan Jimenez and Mimi Sakano, 6-4, 6-2.
At the top half of the draw, Beling, who won last year’s event with Joshua Abragan, and Ortega were unseeded and made it all the way to the finals after collecting five wins. The finalists first ousted Tisha Ferrer and Jeffrey Seo, 6-4, 6-4; won over Dong Min Lee and Rintaro Miyawaki, 6-4, 6-4; topped Vincent Tudela and Coume Kaga, 7-6, 7-6; and stunned the top-ranked Moris Villanueva and Haruya Eda, 6-3, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Beling and Ortega went on to keep their streak with a thrilling 4-6, 6-2, 10-6 semis victory over Michael Ren and Conatsu Kaga in the semis.
Conatsu and Ren completed the Final Four and set up a semis date with Beling and Ortega after winning three earlier matches. The semifinalists started their bid in the mixed-up doubles with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Marivic Rosario and Riko Ojima and then bagged two more wins over Carol Lee and Gang Min Kim, 7-5, 6-3, and Steven Goodwin and Jamin Elliot, 6-2, 6-2.