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Am. Samoa’s Kevin Maukaloa finishes 6th overall in noteworthy Australia tournament

Play has finished at the 2013 ‘Margaret Court Cup’ Tennis Tournament which began last week and was played out in Albury, Australia with a team of Junior tennis players from several Pacific Islands representing the Oceania Region.

American Samoa’s Kevin Maukaloa who competed in the Boys 14 & Under Division, had relatively good success, finishing in 6th place overall.

“Kevin put up a bit of a fight, but could not find the inspiration he had earlier, with fatigue showing in his game style,” said the International Tennis Federation Development Officer for the Pacific Region, Gene Ridgway via email to Samoa News.

In his playoff match yesterday, Maukaloa was defeated 7-6, 6-1 ending his tournament play at the Margaret Court Cup.

According to Ridgway, only a few of the Pacific team players were still in contention today in consolation matches, with Michael Emery of Tahiti winning his consolation matches. Pacific team members Tammy Ackerman (Northern Mariana Islands) and Christopher Shan (Tahiti), were both runners up in their consolation finals. Ackerman lost to the eighth seeded Chorlida Kang 3-8 and Shan lost to Hassan Bakkar 8-5. Team member Mikayla Lopez (Northern Marian Islands) lost to Maggie Snowden 6-1, 6-1 in the 3rd and 4th playoff match yesterday, while Lorish Puluspene (Papua, New Guinea) finished out at 5th overall winning in her playoff match 6-3, 6-3.

“The Margaret Court Cup is a fantastic tournament— it’s played on real grass courts. It is a competitive tournament with good players and has a lovely warm feel with a nice hometown setting that the players all enjoy”. said Ridgway.

 Dave Godinet, who coaches for the American Samoa Tennis Association and is the sports coordinator at the Department of Parks and Recreation, worked with Maukaloa before he left for Australia. Godinet said this tournament is one of the top tournaments in Australia and he is proud of Kevin for doing well. He also said it is a highly respected tournament that always boasts some of the best Junior players in Australia and the Pacific.

Samoa News will continue to bring the latest on Maukaloa and the rest of the Pacific Junior Tennis Team as they continue with their tour of Australia representing Oceania.

This past December, American Samoa’s Junior tennis player Larry Magalasin, was on another Pacific Team of Junior tennis players when they toured New Zealand. At that time Magalasin— who competed in the both the Boys 12 & Under and Boys 14 & Under Division— won the 12 & Under Singles Championship Finals in the Waikato Xmas Junior Open Tennis Tournament and was one half of a Doubles championship in the Auckland Christmas Tournament in the 12 & Under Division with partner Harley Cronin of Samoa.