Six players endured three-setters, while others had less difficult outings in scorching weather conditions to advance past the first round in main draw action of the Chuck E. Cheese’s ITF Junior Championships at the Rick Ninete Tennis Center in Hagåtña Monday.
HAGATÑA, GUAM – Derek Okuhama, IIAAG Tennis League All-Island singles champion and Guam’s first contender in the boys main draw, fell 6-2, 6-2 to Japan’s Soma Yokoyama, ranked No. 1480 in the world upon registering for the tournament.
In other boys main draw action, Japan’s Rukia Yamanaka rallied from one set down to defeat Malaysia’s Darrshan Suresh 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Michael Francis Eala of the Philippines also needed three sets – 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 – to defeat Hong Kong opponent Sheung Yin Stephen Wong. No. 5 Tsubasa Kato of Japan survived a first round scare from Wild Card Benjamin Jacob Martin of the Philippines, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. No. 4 Yohan Sung of Korea defeated Japan’s Fumiya Yoshino 7-6(5), 6-0. Guam’s Camden Camacho won two games, but fell to Japan’s Yusuke Miyai, who holds a current singles/doubles combined ranking of No. 1262 in the world. No. 6 Zheng Qi Jonathan Zhang defeated Wild Card James Hourican from Guam 6-0, 6-0. No. 8 Seita Watanabe of Japan advanced with a 6-0, 6-0 win against Guam’s Gabriel Tan.
In the girls main draw, No. 5 Charmaine Shi Yi Seah was the first seed in the tournament to fall out of title contention, losing 6-2, 6-2 to Japan’s Saki Oyama, who earned her spot in the main draw by winning her qualifying round match.
Seeded players from the Oceania region – No. 6 Carol Youngsuh Lee of the Northern Mariana Islands and No. 7 Ayana Rengiil of Palau are through to the second round after defeating Japan’s Karen Kondo 6-1, 6-1 and Japan’s Sophie Maho Hamada 6-1, 6-0, respectively.
In other girls matches, No. 1 Sara Tsukamoto of the United States cruised past Tomoka Yoshida of Japan 6-2, 6-2. No. 2 Yuelin Chen of Chinese Taipei defeated Airi Ohashi of Japan 6-1, 6-1 and compatriots No. 3 Ting Chieh Wei and Ling Hsuan Wei also advanced, defeating Japan’s Riho Yuasa 6-1, 6-4 and Nagomi Tanaka 7-5, 7-5, respectively. Ya Chi Hsu was the lone player from Chinese Taipei in the draw to fall in first round action, losing to Japan’s Shiho Tsukuda 6-1, 6-0.
In a close battle of Wild Cards, the United States’ Casey Cummings needed three sets to defeat Japan’s Kokomi Koyama 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
Hong Kong’s Alicia Yue advanced with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Japan’s Nanari Katsumi. Qualifier round winner Nanami Okamoto of Japan needed three sets – 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 – to move past Finland’s Elisa Hirn. No. 8 Himeno Sakatsume of Japan cruised past Hong Kong’s Skylar Wan 6-0, 6-2. Hong Kong’s Avril Look rallied from one set down to defeat Japan’s Urara Hitomi 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to move into Round 2. Japan’s Mana Kawamura defeated the Northern Mariana Islands’ Nathania Tan 6-2, 6-1. No. 4 Sakura Hosogi of Japan defeated Guam’s Victoria Smith 6-0, 6-0 and Wild Card Mahiro Koga defeated Guam’s Anika Sachdev 6-0, 6-0.
Tournament action continues Tuesday morning with boys singles Round 1 play, followed by doubles matches, all at RNTC.
Mason Caldwell, IIAAG High School Tennis League Boys MVP, is the lone player from Guam still in the main draw. He will play his Round 1 match against Japan’s Syunya Maruyama, not before 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.