The CNMI’s Robbie Schorr stunned two higher-seeded opponents en route to clinching the boys U16 singles crown in the 2018 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships last weekend in Fiji.
The No. 3 Schorr first pulled off an upset over No. 2 Clement Mainguy of Vanuatu last Friday, 7-6 (5), 6-0, to advance to the finals against No. 1 seed Jeremy Guines of Tahiti. The title match was played last Saturday and Schorr rode on the momentum of his semis win over Mainguy to sweep Guines, 6-4, 6-3.
“It was a big win for Robbie, who has lost every meeting with Clement for the last few years,” said CNMI team coach Jeff Race, who is with Schorr and other CNMI players competing in Fiji.
Schorr and Ken Song bowed to Mainguy and fellow Vanuatu player Marlin Hannam in the doubles semifinals of the same tournament last year. Also last season, Schorr fell to Guines in the singles semis. Guines eventually won the event last year, but Schorr foiled his title defense bid with a two-set victory last Saturday.
The CNMI player’s win in the singles finals also prevented Guines from sweeping the age group competition. Guines and compatriot Mohearii Polin earlier took the boys U16 doubles title after slipping past the Vanuatu duo of Mainguy and Warea Tigona, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 11-9. The Tahiti pair moved into the finals after beating Schoor and Song, 6-3, 7-6 (4), while Mainguy and Tigona won over the Norfolk Islands’ Sam Cribb and Fiji’s Maka Ofati in the other semis pairing, 6-1, 6-1.
In other results, Conatsu Kaga finished fifth in the girls U16 singles after prevailing against Vanuatu’s Desiree Signo, 6-4, 6-3, and fellow CNMI player Malika Miyawaki, 6-2, 6-3. Miyawaki was ranked sixth, while Samoa’s Eleanor Schuster ruled the division following a 6-2, 6-1 win over Vanuatu’s Rosalie Molbaleh. In the doubles, Molbaleh paired with Fiji’s Saoirse Breen and the No. 2 seed stunned No. 1 Lea Lamorelle and Schuster in the finals, 2-6, 6-2, 10-7.
In the boys U14 singles, Jimin Woo made it into the title game after downing Fiji’s Storm Cornish, 6-3, 7-5. Woo was then paired against No. 1 seed Manovai Elie in the finals with the Tahiti player laboring through a 7-5, 3-6, 10-6 victory to avoid the former’s upset axe.
In the consolation game, Seung Jin Paik notched the No. 5 spot in the overall rankings after outclassing No. 3 seed and Fiji’s Ofati, 4-6, 7-6 (8), 10-6. Paik and Woo joined forces in the doubles and settled for the runner-up honors as they were defeated by the unranked pair of Cornish and the Solomon Islands’ Lachlan Guba in the finals, 6-3, 7-5.
In the girls U14, Coume Kaga finished fifth in the singles event following a 6-3, 6-3 win over Samoa’s Penina Kamu. Zorika Morgan topped the singles event after beating Tahiti’s Chrissy Bonge, 6-4, 6-1. Morgan also took the doubles crown with fellow Solomon Islands player Prudence Bird after they swept Vonge and Vaiani Dusserre-Valleaux in the finals, 6-0, 6-1.
Meanwhile, in the U12 team event, the Cook Islands won the boys competition, while Samoa prevailed in the girls field. The CNMI finished sixth in the boys division.