The CNMI started the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 with a flourish after the men’s and women’s teams swept their first round opponents yesterday at the American Memorial Park and Pacific Islands Club tennis courts.
Robbie Schorr gave Team NMI the win in the first singles match after blanking Kiribati’s Benjamin Kourabi, 4-0, 4-0, at AMP.
Not to be outdone, his fellow doubles gold medalist in the Apia, Samoa Pacific Games in 2019, Colin Sinclair, also didn’t drop a game in beating Aato Boari Torua, 4-0, 4-0.
Schorr then played with another Colin—Ramsey—in completing the CNMI’s 3-0 win over Kiribati after the duo defeated Torua and Kourabi, 4-0, 4-2.
Sinclair, a veteran of the ITF Pro Tour, said it’s always nice to win your first match in team play.
“Really good to get this under our belts and get into the tournament with a nice win against Kiribati. You want to give your opponent the respect they deserve and play your hardest,” he said.
Sporting a new haircut, Sinclair said he cut his long locks because of Saipan’s heat.
“Looked a little scruffy so you know what…I wanted to look sharp on the court and you look good, you play good. It’s also a bit too hot so I wanted to cool my head a little bit.”
Schorr, for his part, said nothing compares to competing in front of the home crowd.
“It feels good to be playing here at home with the support of friends and family. It’s amazing and you can’t ask for anything more.”
Like Sinclair, he said he just played his usual game and didn’t want his opponent to get any kind of confidence.
“I just played my game, was consistent, and used my forehand. I just made the first move and put the ball on the defensive end. Matches go by very quickly and in a couple of minutes you lose a set so you have to be focused right from the get-go,” he said.
On the women’s side, Asia Raulerson and Isabel Herras won their singles matches before teaming up in the doubles to give Team NMI a 3-0 against Solomon Islands at PIC.
Raulerson got the better of Marion Hellen Gaote’E, 4-0, 4-0, while Herras took care of business against Zorika Dalice Morgan, 4-1, 5-4.
The NMI women then clinched the tie with a hard-earned 5-3, 4-1 win over Morgan and Chloe Vazeriko Collinson.
The CNMI National Tennis Team is coached by CNMI Sports Hall of Famer Jeff Race and the other members of the team are Bobby Cruz, Hye Jin Elliott, and Serin Chung.