Former CNMI junior tennis player Colin Sinclair appeared in the finals of a tournament under the ITF Pro Circuit last week in Belgium.
He played in the finale of both the singles and doubles events of the Belgium F9 Futures that took place at a clay court in Huy from Aug. 20 to 26. It was Sinclair’s first singles finals stint in an ITF Pro Circuit since he debuted in the gateway to higher-level competitions in the ATP World Tour when he was just 17 years old. He gained his first doubles title (with Great Britain’s Charles Broom) last year in the Belgium F8 Futures.
In the singles play of the Belgium F9 Futures, the 23-year-old notched four wins to march into the title game against eventual champion Jan Choinski of Germany. Sinclair first won over Belgium’s Michael Geerts, 7-5 (retired) and then earned back-to-back straight set victories over the latter’s compatriots Romain Barbosa, 6-1, 6-4, and Benjamin Dhoe, 6-1, 6-4, to move into the Final Four. In the semifinals, Sinclair was paired against Argentina’s Juan Bautista Otegui and the Saipan-born and raised player eked out a 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) triumph to reach his first finals game. In the title match, Sinclair also played an extended game before bowing to his German foe, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6.
In the doubles, Sinclair partnered with the U.S.’ Luke Jacob Gamble and the duo got a free win in the Round of 16 after a no show from France’s Julien De Cuyper and Paul Valsecchi. Then in the quarterfinals, Sinclair and Gamble also cruised to victory over France’s Adan Freire Da Silva and Belgium’s Louis Herman, 6-1, 6-2, to earn the right to face the Argentine pair of Oregui and Ignacio Monzon in the semifinals. Sinclair and Gamble needed only two sets, too, to eliminate the Argentine bets and set up a title showdown against Barbosa and France’s Dan Added. The French-Belgian duo went on to end Sinclair and Gamble’s streak with a 6-4, 7-5 win in the finale.
With Sinclair’s finals appearance in both the singles and doubles events of the $15,000 tournament, he is expected to move up in the ITF Pro Circuit world rankings. The Pacific Oceania Davis Cup member is ranked at No. 1,014 in singles and No. 1,301 in doubles. He achieved his highest rank in singles (968) and doubles (958) early this month, while as a junior player for the CNMI before, he barged into the Top 800 (744) in the world.
“Colin has reached his first professional singles finals and he also made it to the doubles finals. He will be in the Top 1,000,” said CNMI Sports Hall of Famer Jeff Race, who coached Sinclair in his junior years on Saipan.
Sinclair could gain more ranking points and prize money this week, as he is entered in both the singles and doubles events of the Belgium F10 Futures. He is scheduled to duel Great Britain’s George Loffhagen in the singles play and is paired anew with Gamble, as they challenge Mexico’s Rodrigo Garcia and Roberto Quintana Llamas.