The CNMI’s Tania Tan participated in the 53rd Brunei ITF Junior Circuit held last week at the National Tennis Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Jalan Berakas, Brunei Darussalam.
Tan went to Brunei after getting a wild card and competed in the main draw of both the singles and doubles event of the annual tournament. In the singles, she was paired against the seventh-seeded Chisato Hayakawa of Japan and lost, 0-6-0-6. Hakayawa eventually made it to the quarterfinals before bowing to the second-ranked Joleta Budiman of Indonesia, 1-6, 2-6, while the former’s compatriot and No. 1 seed Naho Sato topped the event following a three-set win in the finals against Thailand’s Mananchaya Sawangkaew, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
In the doubles event, Tan teamed up with Malaysia’s Nor Aida Amir and they dueled siblings Jennifer and Joleta Budiman. The Indonesian pair swept the CNMI-Malaysia duo, 6-1, 6-1. Sato and fellow Japanese player Funa Kozaki ruled the doubles contest after outclassing Indonesia’s Shevita Aulana and Novela Rezha Millenia Putri, 6-2, 6-3.
Despite dropping her opening matches in both the doubles and singles event, the 14-year-old Tan was thankful for the opportunity to compete in one of the events under the ITF Junior Circuit.
“The games were very tough as all the players are very good. I need to work a lot with my game to keep up with power hitting players. Getting a wild card and playing in this high level tournament was a great opportunity for me,” said the many-time CNMI Junior National Team member.
The competition in Brunei was Tan’s fifth in the ITF Junior Circuit. She joined similar events, which awarded ranking points, in New Zealand, Guam, Vietnam, and Saipan last year.
The 53rd Brunei ITF Junior Circuit was a Grade 4 event that gave 40 and 30 ranking points to the singles and doubles champions, respectively. The runner-up in the singles contest received 30, 20 for the semifinalists, 15 for the quarterfinalists, and 5 for the losers in Round of 16. In the doubles, points awarded were 20, 15, and 10 to the runners-up, semifinalists, and quarterfinalists.
Tan is back on Saipan after her brief stay in Brunei and will return to training in preparation for next month’s CNMI National Junior Championships. She is also likely to play in the 2016 North Pacific Regional Championships, which Saipan will be hosting in June, and in the 2016 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in Fiji in August.