Seeded players march on


Bishop Ryan Jimenez, seen here returning a shot to John Bradley during the men’s over 40 singles event at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan tennis courts last Saturday, is also playing in the mixed-up doubles with Wataru Kadokura and they are in the quarterfinals of the 2021 White Coconut Tennis Classic. (Rommel Buenaflor)

The crowded mixed-up doubles event in the 2021 White Coconut Tennis Classic is down to the Last 8 and will be a battle of seeded players.

No. 1 seed Daniel Kang and Irin Chung and No. 2 Dong Min Lee and Hoo Wang led the quarterfinals cast in the 36-pair field as they and six other teams lived up to expectations following their victories over the weekend at the American Memorial Park and Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan tennis courts.

Kang and Chung reached the quarterfinal round after eliminating Dev Bachani and Grace Choi, 6-3, 7-6 (1), during their match at the top half of the draw last Saturday. Also playing at the upper half of the draw and moving to the next round were No. 5 seed Cody Shimizu and Edwin Simbulan, No. 12 Si Woo Lee and Andy Kim, and No. 6 Min Seoung Kim and Sean Lee.

Min Seoung Kim returns to Dev Bachani during their boys U16 singles game in the 2021 White Coconut Tennis Classic last Saturday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Shimizu and Simbulan defeated Stephen Yeom and Eric Abragan, 6-4, 7-5, and No. 11 Lina Tsukagoshi and Hye Jin Elliot, 2-6, 6-4, 10-7, to advance to the quarterfinals. Andy Kim and Si Woo Lee also earned a pair of wins to stay in contention, prevailing against Peter Loken and Eliza Culp, 6-2, 6-3, and upsetting No. 4 seed Raffy Jones and Savita Sikkel, 6-3, 6-2. The duo of Min Seoung Kim and Sean Lee was the third team at the top half of the draw to notch twin wins for a seat to the quarterfinals, as the pair first downed Mat Murphy and Anna Kwon, 6-3, 6-4, and then outclassed Quintin Ramsey and Ji Hun Park, 6-2, 6-3.

At the lower half of the draw, joining Dong Min Lee and Wang in the quarterfinals were No. 7 seed Bishop Ryan Jimenez and Wataru Kadokura, No. 3. Simon Tang and Sam Ryu, and No. 8 Gerald Boyer and June Yu.

Bishop Jimenez and Kadokura eked out a 7-5, 3-6, 10-4 win over Paul Jang and Eun Ho Park and then took only two sets to eliminate Ryan Choi and Colin Ramsey, 6-4, 7-6, to reach the Last 8. Dong Min and Wang advanced following a 7-5, 6-2 triumph over Ji Min Woo and Jin Ho Park and a 7-6 (4), 6-0 win against No. 10 Nason Wessel and Ami Tsukagoshi. Simon Tang and Ryu also took the short route to the quarterfinals after ousting Yutaka Kadokura and John Bradley, 7-6, 6-1, and Henry Yeom and Serin Chung, 6-4, 6-3. Yu and Boyer completed the quarterfinals cast after beating Whit Altizer and Hannah Chae, 6-3, 6-1, and Eamon Tang and David Kwon, 7-6, 6-3.

Eliza Culp hits the ball during her co-ed U12 singles match against Jin Ho Park. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Last 8 matches in the mixed-up doubles, which determined the pairings of players via random draws, will be played today with Kang and Chung taking on Shimizu and Simbulan and Andy and Si Woo battling Min Seoung and Sean for two of the four semis berths in the division. In the fight for the two other semis tickets, it will be Bishop Jimenez and Wataru against Simon and Ryu and Dong Min and Wang versus Yu and Boyer.

Meanwhile, the men’s singles event will also have its quarterfinals today. No. 1 seed Jim Min Woo will take on Andy Kim, who won over Murphy in the opener last weekend, 6-1, 7-5. No. 4 seed Ryu defeated Quintin Ramsey, 6-2, 6-1, to advance against Jun Wang, who ousted Gerald Boyer, 6-0, 6-2, while No. 2 seed Sean Lee will duel Vincent Tudela—a victor over Jones via walkover. David Kwon took the last quarterfinals berth in the division following a 3-6, 6-2, 10-1 win against Isaac Heo and the former will be battling No. 3 seed Colin Ramsey.

Besides the men’s singles and mixed-up doubles, the White Coconut Classic also featured competitions in the women’s singles, men’s over 40 singles, co-ed U10 singles, boys and girls U12 and U14 singles, and boys U16 singles. Results of the other divisions will be reported in Saipan Tribune’s Tuesday and Wednesday editions.

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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