Nason Wessel and Irin Chung are the frontrunners in the U12 division of the CNMI Junior Tennis Rankings.
Wessel is ahead in the race for the boys U12 top ranking after earning 2,550 points from three tournaments. His recent one was the Coconut Tennis Classic last February where Wessel got 1,000 ranking points for ruling the singles play following his 6-2, 6-4 finals triumph over Simon Tang.
The 11-year-old Wessel, who is celebrating his birthday today, also made it to the finals of the TanHoldings Tennis Classic in November last year and finished runner-up to June Yu to gain 750 ranking points. In the doubles event, Wessel partnered with Takeru Jin and they were awarded with 200 points each for placing second in the competition. Wessel then got an additional 600 points when he barged into the semifinals of the Saipan International School STUCO Tournament in January this year.
Yu won the SIS competition to add 1,000 ranking points to the earlier 1,000 points he took for topping the TanHoldings event. He also prevailed in the doubles (partnering with Wataru Kadokura) contest of the first tournament of the 2019-2020 season to collect 250 points, putting him at close second behind Wessel, as Yu has collected 2,250 points.
Rounding out the Top 5 in the boys U12 ranking are Hyutaka Kadokura (1,800 points), his brother Wataru (1,600), and Jim (1,200). Completing the list are Tang (900), Ki Won Lee (850), Aiden Kim (750), Ocean Kang (675), Henry Choi (250), Landon Pudney (240), Leo Kim (200), and Eamon (100) and Sunny Kang (100).
In the girls U12 division, Chung enjoys a good lead against Anna Kwon, as the former has tallied 3,000 points versus the latter’s 2,150.
Chung reigned supreme in the TanHoldings Tennis Classic and Coconut Tennis Classic to receive 1,000 points each and she also won in the doubles competition (teaming up with Hoo Wang) of the first event of the season. In the SIS tourney, Chung was handed 750 points for placing second to Wang in the singles event.
Kwon finished third both in the SIS and TanHoldings contests to notch 600 points apiece, while her runner-up performance in the Coconut Tennis Classic earned her 750 points. She also gained 200 points from the TanHoldings doubles event.
Meanwhile, other girls U12 players who received ranking points this season were Wang (2,000), Hannah Chae (1,600), Lina Tsukagoshi (900), Jeong Bing Park (800), Isa Nishitani (550), Anne Lee (400), and Ellie Cho (250).
The rankings in each age group are part of Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association’s selection criteria for players who will represent the Commonwealth to the North Pacific Regional Championships in Guam and the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in Fiji. Ranking points are still up for grabs, as NMITA has two remaining competitions for the season—Bridge Capital Tennis Classic and the CNMI Junior Championships.