SOL23: Singles and mixed doubles light up Tennis Centre

The attention has switched to singles and mixed doubles at tennis. Photos: Rhianto Manuga, Pacific Games News Service.

The tennis singles and mixed doubles competitions at the Sol2023 Pacific Games began in style on Wednesday with victories for a host of Games debutants at the National Tennis Centre in Honiara.

A total of 18 singles and two mixed doubles matches commenced proceedings, much to the excitement of tennis fans that turned out amidst the scorching heat.

The opening women’s singles matches saw convincing victories to Samoa, Fiji and Tahiti.

Samoa’s Noelleda Ah San saw off Guam’s Leila Mercado (2-0), Tahiti’s Tavero Chung beat Nauru’s Nigelita Itaia by the same score and Fiji’s Josephine Debalevu edged out Guam’s Sydney Packbier (2-1) in a tightly contested match.

In the men’s singles, hosts Solomon Islands and Northern Mariana Islands shared the on-court spoils on the opening day, both having three of their athletes win their events.

Solomon Islands players Samuel Ramoni, Lachlan Patteson Guba and Pyongil Tolowe Justus all saw victory over their opponents, whilst Northen Mariana Islands’ Moris Jose Dela Torre Villanueva, Colin Nyle Ramsey and June Yu all won their opening matches.

Ramoni said that his win was unexpected. “For me, to come up with a victory this morning is unbelievable. I was shocked to say the least, but all I know I had to do was stick to my game plan when I went in – that’s how I got the victory.”

Also walking off court with hard earned victories were Fiji’s Raynal Raj Singh who beat Nauru’s Mikio Scotty (2-0) and Guam’s Aarman Sachdev who defeated Tonga’s Filipe Huni (2-0).

New Caledonia’s Nell Rollin beat Vanuatu’s Fintan Molbaleh (2-0), Tuvalu’s Mathew Pese defeated Cook Islands’ Sebastian Payne (2-0), Vanuatu’s Andre Jean Pierre defeated Northern Mariana Islands’ Nason Tenacite Wessel (3-0), Vanuatu’s Roberto Wong beat Fiji’s Amit Sumit Lal (2-0), Tonga’s Teufolau Huni defeated Nauru’s Kanano Nigel Itaia (2-1), Papua New Guinea’s Israel Mera beat Samoa’s Darius Carruthers (2-1) and Samoa’s Fa’afetai Pritchard defeated Tonga’s Filimone Junior Noa in straight sets (3-0).

Meanwhile the mixed doubles competition saw victory for Tuvalu’s Sanapu Tepa Tealei and Mathew Pese over Cook Islands 2-0, and Vanuatu defeated Solomon Islands 2-1.

“We are happy with the win today. We gave it our all, 100 percent on the court today against a very good opponent. The motivation is to win gold,” Vanuatu’s Abygail Coeuillet said.

By Lamantha Lano, Pacific Games News Service