Seeded players deliver in Juniors ITF tourney


India’s Kaushik Hariharan returns to Japan’s Kanate Abe during their singles game in the 2017 Northern Marianas Juniors Championships last Monday at the Pacific Islands Club hard courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Favored players lived up to expectations in the opening singles games in the main draw of the 2017 Northern Marianas Juniors Championships yesterday at the Pacific Islands Club hard courts.

The top-ranked Yi Jui Lo of Chinese-Taipei led the seeded players who marched into the second round of the boys singles competition after downing Japan’s Hisanori Suzuki in their upper draw pairing, 6-4, 6-3.

Also advancing to Round 2 after prevailing in the top half of the draw were No. 3 Michael Francis Eala of Hong Kong, No. 8 Mann Shah of India, Macau’s Kun Teng Tche, and Hong Kong’s Pak Hong Chan and Chun Ho Chow.

Chow won over the CNMI’s Robbie Schorr, 6-2, 6-1, while Eala defeated South Korea’s Dong Heyon Kim, 6-1, 6-3. Sha also needed only two sets to eliminate another Commonwealth player in Michael Ren, 6-1, 6-2, while Chan shut down the latter’s teammate Vincent Tudela, 6-0, 6-0. Tche completed the second round qualifiers at the upper half of the draw after dominating Ken Song, also of the CNMI, 6-0, 6-1.

At the lower half of the draw, only two games were played with No. 7 Ryotaro Koshiba of Japan and Hong Kong’s Chun Lam outlasting their respective opponents. Koshiba eked out a 0-6, 7-6 (7), 6-0 triumph over the Philippines’ Benjamin Jacob Martin, while Lam also prevailed in an extended game against South Korea’s Ilbin Nam, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Meanwhile, with Schorr, Song, Tudela, and Ren losing in the opening round, the CNMI has only three players left in the competition. Moris Villanueva will play his first game today against Japan’s Hiroki Fujita, while Colin Ramsey and Steven Goodwin will take on Man San Chan and No. 2 Stefan Storch, respectively.

In other results, all eight seeded players in the girls singles moved into the second round, while the five CNMI bets were eliminated.

No. 1 Chao Yi-Wang earned a Round 2 berth following a 7-5, 6-1 win over Yuki Sakurai of Japan. Joining her in the next round were No. 8 Mio Kozaki, No. 3 Otoha Aoki, and No. 5 Al Yamaguchi, of Japan, No. 4 Tzu Hsun Hsu, No. 7 Yu Hua Cheng, and No. 2 Yun Chen Shieh of Chinese-Taipei, and No. 6 Alicia Yue of Hong Kong.

Cheng beat the CNMI’s Grace Choi, 6-0, 6-0; Aoki topped Isabel Heras, 6-0, 6-1; and Kozaki swept Malika Miyawaki, 6-1, 6-1. Tania Tan and Maria Gregoire suffered the same fates after bowing to Japanese Mua Shigeta, 1-6, 3-6, and Kaho Nieda, 1-6, 1-6, respectively.

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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