Twin titles for Kim


Helen Kim rushes forward for a return during her and Savita Sikkel’s girls U14 doubles game against Serin Chung and Sei Yul Hong in the 10th TanHoldings Tennis Classic yesterday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

CNMI Junior Tennis Team member Helen Kim bagged a pair of titles in the opening week of the 10th TanHoldings Tennis Classic held at the various courts on Saipan.

Kim, who represented the Commonwealth to the 2019 Pacific Oceania Juniors Championships in Fiji last summer, first secured the girls U14 singles crown after earning an unbeaten record in three games. She started her singles title bid with a straight set victory over Savita Sikkel, 6-2, 6-0, last Friday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan court. Kim next faced Sei Yul Hong and eased to a 6-0, 6-0 triumph last Saturday, also at the Hyatt court.

For her final game, Kim also took only two sets to finish the competition with a perfect record, however, both games were hotly contested with the eventual champion eking out a 7-5, 7-5 victory against Serin Chung yesterday morning at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan court. Chung earlier prevailed over Hong, 6-2, 6-0, and Sikkel, 6-1, 6-2, before losing to Kim to settle for the runner-up honors.

After her title-deciding win over Chung, Kim returned to the Fiesta court in the afternoon and the singles finalists squared off anew. Kim was with Sikkel, while Serin played with Hong. The tandem of Sikkel and Kim cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 victory to top the girls U14 doubles competition, as the duo was wrapped up the round-robin contest unbeaten. Kim and Sikkel’s other win was against Irin Chung and Hoo Wang last Saturday, 6-0, 6-3.

Irin and Wang finished second in the division, as it also downed Serin and Hong in their Saturday duel, 6-1, 4-6, 10-6.

Meanwhile, Lina Tsukagoshi and Irin Chung were crowned champions in the other girls singles events in the TanHoldings Tennis Classic.

The No. 1 seed Tsukagoshi lived up to expectations after dominating No. 2 Eun Been Hwang, 6-1, in their girls U10 singles finals showdown yesterday at the Fiesta court. Tsukagoshi made it to the title game after outclassing Anne Lee in the semis last Saturday, 6-3, while the latter earned the right to challenge the former for a finals ticket following a 6-1 victory over Jeong Bin Park, 6-1. Hwang, on the other hand, pulled off a 7-6 (6) win against Ellie Cho to march into the finale. Lee joined Tsukagoshi and Hwang in the podium after topping Cho in the third place game, 6-3.

In the girls U12 singles, Irin Chung posted a 3-0 record in the round-robin contest, capping her perfect mark with a 6-3, 6-1 title-clinching win over Hoo Hwang yesterday. Irin’s two other victories were against Anna Kwon, 6-3, 6-1, and Hannah Chae (walkover).

Irin also played in the doubles with Hoo Hwang and they prevailed in the head-to-head matchup against Chae and Kwon, 6-3, 6-2.

Savita Sikkel, right, exchange high-fives with Helen Kim after scoring a point against Serin Chung and Sei Yul Hong in the girls U14 doubles game in the 10th TanHoldings Tennis Classic yesterday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

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.