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Junior Tennis moves to grass court play in cooler Victoria, Australia

In the latest news on the Junior Tennis Players from the Pacific representing the Oceania Region at various Junior Tennis Tournaments in Australia, they are now competing in the 2013 Victorian Junior Grass-court Championships in Victoria, Australia.

Referring to the team’s performance, the International Tennis Federation Development Officer for the Pacific Region, Gene Ridgway spoke to Samoa News about American Samoa’s Kevin Maukaloa who competes in the Boys 14 & 16 & Under Division on the Pacific Team.

“Kevin played like a serious player today, with good focus and a good attitude,” said Ridgway. In last week’s tournament—the 2013 Margaret Court Cup Tournament held in Albury— the temperature rose to a sweltering 40 degrees celsius (104 degrees fahrenheit). Maukaloa placed sixth place overall in his division in that tournament.

This time around, the temperature dropped to 11 degrees Celsius (51.8 degrees Fahrenheit) and according to Ridgway was heating up to a perfect 26 degrees celsius (78.8 fahrenheit) at the time of play on yesterday in Victoria.

Victoria, Australia is 22 hours ahead of American Samoa time, and over the Dateline.  The first matches took place on Thursday, Australia time. 

On the first day of play, Maukaloa teamed up with Tamarua Payne, a teammate from the Cook Islands to defeat Donald O’Driscoll and Jordan Staniforth both of Australia, 2-6, 2-6 in the 16 & Under Doubles Main Draw. Maukaloa was also able to defeat the 6th seeded Matthew Cotterill in the 14 & Under Boys Singles, 6-0, 6-0. Payne who is seeded 10 in the 16 & Under Boys Singles, defeated the number 8 seeded David Osborne, 2-6, 2-6. Christopher Shan (Tahiti) was able to down Rory Burns of Australia, 6-0, 6-0 and the 7th seeded Nick Spanner also of Australia 1-6, 0-6, in the 14 & Under Boys Singles Qualifying. Shan then teamed up with fellow Tahitian Michael Emery to wallop Australia’s Nathan Brown and Matthew Cotterill 6-0, 6-0 in the 14 & Under Boys Doubles Main Draw.

“Nicholas Lestergie (Tahiti) had a great comeback win in his opening match, losing the first set 6-2, winning the second set 6-2 and fought out a well deserved 7-5 in the third set,” said Ridgway. “In his second match he played a very strong player who beat him 6-3, 6-3. A good fight for Nicholas, but not to be,” he said.

Lestergie later teamed up with a new partner for this tournament, Matthew Barrell of Australia for the Men’s Open Doubles first round, in which Lestergie and Barrell won 6-3, 6-0.

Tabera Bonteman  (Kiribati/Boys 14 & Under) was able to defeat the 3rd seeded Samuel Stalley of Australia 6-1, 6-2 in the Singles Qualifying, while Michael Emery (Tahiti) was also able to advance in the Boys 14 & Under by downing the 2nd seeded Jeyanthan Rasalinkam of Australia, 6-0, 6-3. Ayana Rengil (Palau) and Neghar Rastguiy (Northern Mariana Islands) defeated Annabel Jaskiewicz and Maddison Stark both of Australia, in the 14 & Under Girls Doubles Main Draw, 6-4, 4-6, 9-11.

Stay tuned with Samoa News for the latest update on Maukaloa and the Pacific Junior Tennis Team representing the Oceania Region in Australia.