Steele, Gregoire lead doubles winners


Richard Steele returns a shot to Seung Jin Paik during their game in the opening week of the 2018 PIC Tennis Championships at the Pacific Islands Club hard courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Richard Steele and Maria Gregoire’s partnership produced another title, as they ruled the mixed 3.0 doubles event in the 2018 PIC Tennis Championships last Sunday at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan hard courts.

The two junior players, who won the mixed 4.0 doubles crown in the 9th Annual TanHoldings Tennis Classic, got their second doubles title after sweeping Chiharo and Kosuke Sato in the finals, 6-2, 6-2. The eventual champions also needed only two sets to beat Danny Lee and Helen Kim, 6-0, 6-1, in the semifinals. In the other Final Four pairing, the Satos outclassed Randy Steele and Ami Miyawaki, 6-1, 6-3, to book the second finals ticket.

In other results, Jeff Race and Isabel Heras, Malika Miyawaki and Coume Kaga, and Dennis Tababa and June Keller completed the doubles champions list in last weekend’s competition.

Kaga and Miyawaki prevailed in the round-robin women’s open doubles event after earning a 2-0 record. The duo won via walkover against Chizuka and Reika Nakaya and then defeated the mother-and-daughter tandem of Lydia and Tania Tan yesterday, 6-2, 6-1, to top the division. The Tans earlier swept the Nakayas, 6-0, 6-1, to settle for the runner-up honors.

In the mixed open doubles, Race and Heras also posted a 2-0 mark to clinch the division championship. The winning pair first downed Miyawaki and Seung Jin Paik, 6-2, 6-1, in the morning match last Saturday, and then also swept Tania Tan and Sean Lee in the afternoon, 6-0, 6-1, to rule the round-robin contest. Miyawaki and Park placed second as they slipped past Tan and Lee, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1, yesterday.

In the men’s 3.0 doubles, Tababa and Keller won the all-Pacific Islands Club Saipan staff finale, as they outclassed tournament director Keoni Ichihara and Reymark Castro, 6-4, 4-6 7-5.

Meanwhile, Ichihara would like to thank the following for supporting this year’s competition: Kensington Hotel, Coral Ocean Golf Resort, Pacific Trading Company, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Mariana Resort and Spa, Saipan Vegas, Triple J Wholesale, Bridge Capital LLC, and PIC Saipan.

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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