Tan Siu Lin Foundation has taken the sponsorship cudgels from DFS Galleria in backing the renamed 2021 TSL CNMI Junior Tennis Tournament that will debut this weekend at the American Memorial Park tennis courts.
Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association president and CNMI National Tennis coach Jeff Race said the junior championships returns after a yearlong absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We missed this tournament, our national championship, last year as everything was locked down in March, so I feel like every tournament is extra important. Also this event awards the most points and goes a long way in determining who will travel with the junior national team to Guam for the North Pacific Regional Championships, hopefully in July,” he told Saipan Tribune.
He also thanked TanHoldings CEO Jerry Tan and his wife, Lydia, for sponsoring the 2021 TSL CNMI Junior Tennis Tournament. “This is the first time TSL Foundation has been the sponsor. Jerry and Lydia Tan do so much for our youth and sports community.”
For her part, Lydia Tan, who serves as tournament director, said TanHoldings is more than happy to take over sponsoring duties from longtime supporter DFS Galleria.
“In 2019, DFS was the one who sponsored this tournament and now they are closed. The TanHoldings Tennis Classic was also cancelled last year due to the pandemic. So, I thought and checked with Jerry if the TSL Foundation could be the sponsor for this year’s CNMI Junior Tennis Championship. He said ‘yes.’ It’s not easy to find sponsors since all businesses on island is affected by the pandemic,” said Lydia Tan.
The 2021 TSL CNMI Junior Tennis Tournament will be held for two consecutive weekends, April 17 and 18 and April 24 and 25.
Lydia Tan said sporting events like the 2021 TSL CNMI Junior Tennis Tournament are crucial to the development of the islands’ youth netters. “It is very important to support the CNMI junior tennis players because they are our future players representing the CNMI in the Micronesian Games, Pacific Games, Mini Games, or the yearly Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in Fiji. They could also continue playing college tennis and can get college scholarships.”
A total of eight division championships will be at stake in the tournament. The top seed in the boys singles 12 is Si Woo Lee followed by Yutaka Kadokura, Ki Won Lee, and Nason Wessel.
In the girls singles 12, Hannah Chae and Lina Tsukagoshi are seeded No. 1 and 2, respectively, while June Yu and Wataru Kadokura are the Top 2 players in the boys singles 14.
In the girls singles 14, Irin Chung and Hoo Wang lead the way, while the boys singles 18 is spearheaded by Ji Min Woo with Sam Ryu, Sean Lee, and Seongeon Heo next in line.
Partners Si Woo Lee and Yutaka Kadokura and Ki Won Lee and Ian Chae are the Top 2 seeds in the boys 12 doubles, while bannering the boys 18 doubles are the teams of Sam Ryu and Woo and Sean Lee and Seongeon Heo. There’s also a mini tennis tournament with Seung Woo Lee and Jin Ho Park taking part.