Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association’s first tournament for the 2018-2019 season—the TanHoldings Tennis Classic—has been canceled.
Lydia Tan, one of the organizers of the annual event, said they decided to call off the competition this year to give way to the recovery efforts on Saipan, as the the island was slammed by Super Typhoon Yutu last month.
“This is to confirm that we are canceling the 2018 TanHoldings Tennis Classic, as many people are still homeless and trying to cope up with this unexpected disaster,” Tan said. “It’s so sad and devastating to see what Yutu has done to this beautiful island.”
The tennis tournament was originally scheduled to start late this month and will run for two weekends with several Guam players and some from Japan coming to Saipan to participate in the 10th edition of the competition. Games were initially set at the Kanoa Resort, Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, Hyatt Regency Saipan, and the American Memorial Park tennis courts. The courts in some hotels sustained damage, while lights and fence at the AMP were also not spared from Yutu’s wrath.
“It’s supposed to be a special tournament because it’s our 10th anniversary. Anyways, we will have the TanHoldingsTennis Classic next year and we plan to have a bigger even in late November or early December,” Tan said.
“We wish and pray that the island will have speedy recovery and get power and water back,” she added.
Meanwhile, Malika Miyawaki, one of the players scheduled to compete in the TanHoldings Tennis Classic, said it was frustrating not to play in the event that she considers her favorite. However, she knows more competitions are lined up next year and for now she joins the CNMI community in praying for fast recovery.
Miyawaki, along with fellow junior players Robbie Schorr and Ken Song, had a friendly game at the AMP last Saturday, trying to stay in shape while waiting to return to action.
“It will be hard to stop playing for a long time so since the AMP was not hit that hard by the typhoon—the nets still work—we decided to come here and play,” Miyawaki said.
“This will be my last time to play here since I am leaving for Minnesota on Tuesday. I just want to play with them for one last time,” Song said.