World-ranked players Colin Sinclair and Carol Lee will be leading the CNMI National Tennis Team to the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.
Sinclair, who is competing in the ITF Pro Circuit, and the ITF Juniors world No. 173 Lee, are among the shoo-ins on the squad, according to Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association official Jeff Race.
The 23-year-old Sinclair is ranked No. 495 in the world and has been playing in several pro tournaments across the globe since 2012. In the last quarter of this year, he made it to the singles finals of tournaments in Belgium, Tunisia, and Australia. Last week, he stunned China’s two-time champion Di Wu to march into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open 2019 Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off held in Zhuhai, China. Sinclair also suited up for the Pacific Oceania Team in the Davis Cup 2018 Asia/Oceania Group III.
Lee, on the other hand, has been part of the Pacific Oceania Touring Team (Grand Slam Development Fund) and is also travelling around the world in the last two years competing in world-ranking tournaments and winning a couple of them. She just completed her six-tournament, three-country tour early this week, as she played in high-ranking events in South Korea, Mexico, and the U.S. The 16-year-old also played for Pacific Oceania—her second straight stint with the elite team—and helped the squad climb up to Group I after making it to the finals of the 2018 Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group II competition held in Bahrain in February this year.
Meanwhile, junior players Robbie Schorr, Ken Song, and Vincent Tudela and Micro Games medalist Bobby Cruz are also being considered on the men’s team that will compete in the Mini Games set for Apia from July 7 to 20. For the women’s side, NCAA Division II players Isabel Heras and Thea Minor, Mikayla Lopez, and junior players Tania Tan and Malika Miyawaki are also being eyed to join Lee in Samoa.
This will be the first time since 2005 that the CNMI will be fielding both men’s and women’s teams in the Pacific Games Council-sanctioned competition. Race, Todd Montgomery, Tim Quan, Daniel Son, Ralph Buenaventura, Kana Aikawa, and Amanda Weindl made up the CNMI Team that played in the 2005 Pacific Mini Games in Palau. Then in 2007, only Quan donned the colors of the Commonwealth in the Pacific Games in Samoa after Montgomery was forced to withdraw due to a foot injury.