Pacific Games multiple gold medalist Colin Sinclair will be able to continue competing in professional tournaments and stay on course for his bid to join a Grand Slam event after getting assistance from the International Tennis Federation.
Sinclair, who represented the CNMI in the 2019 Pacific Games and won three gold medals and a silver, was one of the 29 players around the world that have received 2020 International Player Grand Slam Grants from the Grand Slam Development Fund. The grant, according to ITF and Oceania Tennis Federation, provides $650,000 annual funding to selected players and is used for competition-related costs. The financial assistance is given as ITF aims to develop professional tennis players and help them compete in Grand Slam tournaments.
Each selected player will get $25,000 travel grants, while Sinclair will receive additional $12,500 for topping the rankings in the region (Pacific Oceania). The CNMI bet is one of the only six players to gain extra travel grants. The five others were Egypt’s Maiar Sherif Ahmed Abdulaziz, Dominican Republic’s Roberto Cid Subervi, New Zealand’s Paige Hourigan, Tunisia’s Skander Mansouri, and Mexico’s Renata Zarazua.
Sinclair received both grants in 2019, which saw him not only dominating the Pacific Games, but also getting his first pro singles title after prevailing in the $15,000 Claremont Club Pro Classic in California. The 25-year-old ruled the 32-player field, which included pros from the U.S., China, Brazil, Japan, Ireland, Canada, Dominican Republic, Greece, Mexico, and Sweden, and capped his stellar performance in the ITF World Tour event with a 6-3, 7-6 victory over France’s Lucas Poullain in the finals. In 2017, less than a year after turning pro, Sinclair also won a doubles title, as he and Great Britain’s Charles Broom stunned No. 1 seed Tom Schonenberg of Germany and Colin Van Beem of the Netherlands in the finals of the Belgium F8 Futures, 4-6, 6-1, 10-5.
Currently, Sinclair is ranked No. 273 in ITF singles and has moved up to as high as No. 47 (June 17, 2019). In the ATP rankings, his highest ranking so far was at No. 410 and he is now at No. 742, as majority of tournaments were either suspended or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sinclair’s last recorded tournament under ITF’s sanction was the M15 Porec 2020 Tennis Tournament in Croatia in March with the CNMI player losing to Poland’s Pawel Clas in the first round, 2-6, 4-6.
Before the pandemic hit, the many-time Pacific Oceania Davis Cup player competed in New Caledonia and Australia and in three events in Florida. Sinclair has 235 ITF ranking points. The CNMI player needs to compete in as many pro events as he can and gain ranking points to move up to the ladder and be able to play in Grand Slam events. Players who are in the Top 104 in the world (ATP) can participate in a Grand Slam tournament, while others can also gain entry to the elite competition by winning three rounds in qualifying or getting a wild card.