Seeded players march on


Japan’s Taki Adachi serves, while the CNMI’s Sean Lee gets ready near the net during their doubles game against South Korea’s Dong Gyu Oh and Seungik Park in the 2019 Northern Marianas Junior Championships yesterday at the Pacific Islands Club hard courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

No upset was recorded, as doubles games in the 2019 Northern Marianas Junior Championships finally kicked off at the Pacific Islands Club hard courts with seeded players living up to expectations.

No. 6 June Jeong and Junhyun Lee and No. 7 Dong Gyu Oh and Seungik Park of South Korea, No. 5 Kenta Miyoshi and Kaita Odani of Japan, and No. 8 Hiroki Fujita of Japan and Dong Hwan Kim of South Korea notched the first four quarterfinals berth in the boys doubles.

Fujita and Kim swept Singapore’s Matthew Johnstone and Australia’s Qwyn Quittner, 6-4, 6-0, to make it to the Round of 8 where they will face either the CNMI pair of Ken Song and Jimin Woo or the South Korean duo of Je Won Jeon and Dogeon Park. Song and Woo won their all-CNMI duel against Daniel Kang and Jun Wang, 6-0, 6-1 to set up a second round match against the No. 2 seed Jeon and Dogeon Park.

Seungik Park and Oh also needed only two sets to eliminate the CNMI’s Sean Lee and Taki Adachi. The South Koreans will meet in the quarterfinals the winner in the match between the unranked Masaki Kanehara and Yusen Sato of Japan and No. 4 Shu-Lun Chang and Hong-Lin Fu of Chinese-Taipei. Sato and Kanehara made it to the second round after ousting the CNMI’s Isaac Heo and Andy Kim, 6-0, 6-1.

Miyoshi and Odani advanced to the quarterfinals after outlasting Jay Jones of the U.S. and South Korea’s Sooyoung Yang, 4-6, 6-1, 13-11, and the Japanese pair will take on either South Korea’s Yunseok Jang and Gyun Seop Sim or Max Kwok of Hong Kong and Brazil’s Nikolas Herbert. Jeong and Lee, on the other hand, won in straight sets over China’s Chibin Yang and Hongyi Zeng, 6-2, 6-0, and the South Koreans will wait for the winner in the second round match between No. 1 Matthew Garcia of the Philippines and Chinese-Taipei’s Nan Hsun-Lin and the unseeded Kyohei and Shuhei Ohtani of Japan.

In the boys singles, No.1 Yunseok Jang swept Herbert, 6-0, 6-1, to arrange a third round match against the CNMI’s Lee today.

Also making it to the third round were majority of the seeded players in the 64-player draw. The list includes No. 10 Dogeon Park, No. 4 Junhyun Lee, No. 8 Fujita, No. 6 Fu, No. 9 Jeon, No. 5 Oh, and No. 2 Lin.

In the girls singles, the quarterfinals cast was completed with South Korea’s Gio Jang, Hui-Gyeong Kim, and Japan’s Honoka Umeda bagging the last three spots. Umeda defeated fellow Japanese Kaho Nieda, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, Jang topped Hong Kong’s Man Wai Li, and Kim edged Japan’s Hiromi Sekiguchi, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4.

In the doubles, the CNMI’s Malika Miyawaki and Tania Tan were downed by Chinese-Taipei’s Jyun Yi Lee and Li Hsin-Lin.

Other winners in the doubles event yesterday were Russia’s Sofiya Lebedeva and Hing Kong’s Hannah Shen and Gio Jang and Li, who booted out Japan’s Natsumi Numano and Rena Tanaka, 6-3, 6-4, and South Korea’s Ji Eun Lee and Zimbabwe’s Ruvashe Shoko, 7-5, 6-0, 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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