Schorr keeps singles crown


Robbie Schorr, right, makes a baseline return to TJ Bellama, left, during their men’s singles title game in the 2020 White Coconut Tennis Classic yesterday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Robbie Schorr defended his men’s singles title in the 2020 White Coconut Tennis Classic, but not after working his way to victory against a former NCAA Division 1 player yesterday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts.

Schorr, who clinched the 2019 crown in the same tournament after sweeping Jimin Woo, 6-3, 7-6, this time needed an extended game to make it back-to-back, as TJ Bellama proved to be a tougher opponent in their finals showdown. Bellama, who used to play captain for the Arizona State University men’s tennis team in the Pac-12, scored a 6-3 victory in the second set to deny Schorr the sweep in the finale. Earlier in the first set, the No. 1 junior player in the CNMI raced to a 3-0 lead en route to a 6-3 triumph to move closer to a successful title defense.

Then in the deciding super-tiebreaker third set, Schorr played steadier in the end to pull off a 10-7 win and spoil Bellama’s debut on Saipan soil.

The new Saipan resident was seeded No. 3 in the tournament and reached the finals after eliminating Sean Lee, 6-1, 6-0, Malika Miyawaki, 6-0, 6-0, and the No. 2 seed Woo, 6-4, 6-1. Woo, before losing to Bellama, made it to the semis following his 6-1, 6-1 victory against Jeff Race—a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Vincent Tudela in the lower half of the draw.

At the upper half of the men’s singles field, Schorr eased past Ji Hwan Ryu, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 4 seed Ken Song, 6-0, 6-4, to march into the finals. Song moved into the semis after laboring through a 5-7, 6-0, 10-7 victory over Colin Ramsey, while Ryu advanced to the quarterfinals after booting out Steven Goodwin, 6-2, 6-4.

Meanwhile, David Kwon, Ian Chae, and Wataru Kadokura won their respective divisions in the boys juniors singles.

Kadokura stunned No. 1 seed June Yu in the boys U14 finals, 6-3, 6-0. Kadokura was seeded No. 2 in the six-player field and moved into the title match after ousting David Bachani, 6-4, 6-3. Bachani set up a semis duel against Kadokura following his 6-4, 6-2 win over Danny Jeoung.

Yu, on the other hand, made it to the finals after a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Cody Shimizu, who marched into the Final Four after eliminating Jaden Hwang, 6-0, 6-1.

In the boys U16 singles title game, the No. 2 Kwon defeated the unranked Isaac Heo, 7-5, 6-3. Kwon escaped with a 3-6, 6-3, 11-9 win over Juncheol Hwang last Sunday to set a championship showdown against Heo, who pulled off an upset over No. 1 seed Andy Kim, 7-6, 6-1. Hwang also surprised Kim after taking a 5-7, 6-4, 10-6 win in their battle for third place.

In the boys U10 singles, Chae prevailed in the three-way tiebreak to secure the division championship.

Chae posted a 3-1 record in the round-robin competition and won the standoff after posting an 18-8 mark (games won/loss. Eamon Tang and Jihun Park also earned the same slates, but the former had an 18-14 record (games won/loss) and the latter registered 19-15 to drop to second and third place, respectively.

Meanwhile, results of other events in this year’s White Coconut Classic will be reported in Saipan Tribune’s Wednesday issue.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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