Tennis group eyeing first tournament next month


In this 2020 file photo, Wataru Kadokura returns to June Yu during their boys U14 finals match in the White Coconut Tennis Classic at the American Memorial Park tennis courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association will be working on holding a tournament next month after suspending competitions since late March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NMITA president and long-time national coach Jeff Race said they are looking at hosting the 2021 Coconut Tennis Classic on Feb. 6 and 7 and 13 to 15. He added that they will coordinate with the administrator of the American Memorial Park for the venue and will also seek permission from the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force to provide CNMI tennis players their first tournament of the season.

The Coconut Tennis Classic is part of NMITA’s annual calendar of events and features competition in the U16, U14, U12, and U10 singles and doubles, men’s singles, and the mixed up doubles.

Last year, the NMITA was able to complete the two-weekend tournament and was halfway through the fourth competition (the inaugural Bridge Capital Tennis Classic) of the 2019-2020 season when the pandemic hit the islands and the rest of the world, forcing the cancelation of the remaining events of the year, including the North Pacific Regional Championships in Guam and the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in Fiji.

Events that draw crowd, like sports competitions, are now allowed, but with restrictions and organizers have to seek clearance from the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force before they could go ahead with their activities.

Race is positive that they will meet the requirements of the task force, as he emphasized that NMITA and its players will follow safety protocols at the duration of the tournament.

Meanwhile, the NMITA congratulated one of its proud products—Carol Lee—for her outstanding debut in the collegiate ranks.

Lee prevailed in her first three singles matches with Georgia Tech in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I and won a tough doubles game against University of Mississippi.

“I watched her game online and it’s great to see how she did well in her debut. In one of her doubles games, their team was one point away from losing the set, but Carol and her teammate came back and won the next four games to take the match. We wish her good luck in her upcoming games,” Race said.

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.
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.