Seeded players deliver


Ranked players in the boys singles division of the 2014 IT&E Northern Marianas Junior Championships cruised past their respective opponents, as the first round of the Junior ITF competition kicked off yesterday at the Pacific Islands Club and Kanoa Resort tennis courts.

Top seed Jack Won of Hong Kong swept the CNMI’s Moris Villanueva, 6-4, 6-1, to lead the Round 1 winners at the upper bracket of the 32-player draw. Other first round victors in top half of the draw were No. 4 Jesse Delaney of Australia, No. 5 Jack Barber of the U.S., No. 7 Ming Chung Alan Sou, Fabien Calloud, and Ching Lam of Hong Kong, Jerome Romualdez of the Philippines, and Chris Kafataris of Australia.

Delaney shut out former CNMI player and now Guam bet Christopher Cajigan, 6-0, 6-0, while Barber also took only two sets to oust the host’s Amami Sakano, 6-1, 6-1. Calloud recorded the second 6-0, 6-0 win in the upper half bracket, dominating CNMI’s Vincent Tudela, while Lam and Romualdez also notched straight set victories against qualifier Yuki Watanabe of Japan, 6-4, 6-2, and the CNMI’s Jake Lee, 6-2, 6-4, respectively. Kafataris, who was a lucky loser despite bowing in the qualifying tournament, registered the only three-set win in the top half of the draw, outlasting fellow lucky loser Eikoh Hayashi, 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-2. Kafataris and Hayashi made it to the main draw after two players pulled out of the competition.

At the bottom half of the draw, the second-ranked Taisei Miyamoto coasted to a 6-1, 6-2 win over the CNMI’s Tommy Choi. The seven other opening round matches in the lower bracket also ended after only two sets.

The No. 3 pick Chak Yin Chan of Hong Kong made short work of Joshua Ecalnir of Australia, 6-1, 6-2, while sixth-ranked Kody Pearson also of Australia downed Thailand’s Itchya Meesommon in similar scores. Unseeded Wai Leuk Alan Lee of Hong Kong and Indonesia’s Steven Harianto Peodji swept their foes, too, prevailing against the CNMI’s Michael Ren, 6-0, 6-1, and Hong Kong’s Kai Wui Wesley Law, 6-4, 6-3, respectively. Qualifier Yohan Sung of South Korea soldiered on, following a 6-4, 6-1 triumph over Hong Kong’s Cheuk Yin Yuen, while No. 8 Bernard Bruno Nkomba of Australia downed the CNMI’s Luther Lizama, 6-1, 6-1.

Japan’s Nanaka Takeuchi returns to Thailand’s Gorbua Srisirisupayok during the second set of their first round game in the 2014 IT&E Northern Marianas Junior Championships yesterday at the Kanoa Resort tennis courts. (ROSELYN B. MONROYO)

Japan’s Nanaka Takeuchi returns to Thailand’s Gorbua Srisirisupayok during the second set of their first round game in the 2014 IT&E Northern Marianas Junior Championships yesterday at the Kanoa Resort tennis courts.

Lizama was the eighth CNMI player to bow out of the competition, leaving Colin Ramsey the only survivor from the host country in the first round. Ramsey drilled a 7-5, 6-3 victory in the first round against fellow CNMI bet Seiya Eda to arrange a second round meeting against the third-ranked Chan.

Upset in girls singles
Meanwhile, the unseeded Sing-Le Fan Chiang of Chinese-Taipei earned the biggest win in the girls U18 singles after pulling off a stunner against the second-ranked Yuri Katano of Japan, 6-0, 6-1.
With the upset, Chiang set up a second round duel against Palau’s Ayana Rengiil, who slipped past the CNMI’s Negahr Rastguiy, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

Other second round pairings at the bottom half of the draw are Japan’s Hiraku Sato against Nanaka, Takeuchi and the Philippines Maria Dominuque Ong versus Japan’s Azusa Yasaki. The No. 6 pick Ong walloped the CNMI’s Grace Choi, 6-0, 6-0, for a second round showdown against Yasaki, who eliminated Hong Kong’s Chak Lam Chan, 6-2, 6-1. Sato eased past the CNMI’s Mimi Sakanop, 6-0, 6-0, for a date against the fourth-seeded Takeuchi, who triumphed over Thailand’s Gorbua Srisirisupayok, 6-0, 6-3. Japanese qualifier Ayumi Hirata also booked a second round ticket, following a 6-3, 6-3 victory over the CNMI’s Tammy Ackerman and will be pitted against the winner between the No. 8 seed Alvina Lai of Hong Kong and Australia’s Millie Khoury. Khoury and Lai played the last game in the bottom half of the draw and results were unavailable at press time,
At the top half, No. 1 seed Yinglak Jittakoat had no problems ousting lucky loser Maine Hiramatsu, 6-1, 6-2, for a second round clash against qualifier Yuri Takanishi, who eliminated wild card bet Kwan Wun Man of Hong Kong, 6-3, 6-3.
Another Hong Kong wild card entry, Venia Yeung, survived the first round after downing the CNMI’s Mikayla Lopez, 6-4, 6-0. Yeung collides with No. 7 Kanako Ota today after the latter blanked Guam’s Nadine Del Carmen, 6-0, 6-0.

Completing the second round pairings are Japan’s Ayano Shimizu versus compatriot Yuna Fukumuro and Hong Kong’s Yuen Tung Liu against Australia’s Gabriella Da Silva Fick. The third-ranked Shimizu swept India’s Nairuti Vyas, 6-1, 6-1, while Fukumuro booted out the CNMI’s Ami Tsukagishi, 6-0, 6-2. Fick pulled off a 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over wild card entry and Japan’s Azumi Kanazawa, while Liu defeated the host’s Julia Ishikawa, 6-1, 6-0.

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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