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RAIN DAMPENS FUTURES TENNIS

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Tennis players leave the courts during another rain delay. (photo by Kevin Wang)

Tennis players leave the courts during another rain delay. (photo by Kevin Wang)

By Colin Leon Guerrero

It is no question that the weather plays a factor into every person’s daily life.

However, living on Guam, locals are accustomed to only two seasons, rainy or sunny. Still, with the unpredictability of the weather it is safe to be prepared for any situation under any circumstance.

The 2013 GVB Lacoste Futures Tennis Tournament was slated to start around 10 a.m. in the morning, however, due to heavy downpour it got pushed back all the way until 12 in the afternoon.

It is a shame that the tournament was delayed for about two and a half hours, but there are some factors that people cannot control. “It is not frustrating, yet,” said Torgun Smith the director of the tournament who admitted that the weather was a bit daunting at first. “At least it did not happen at the beginning of the tournament,” said Smith who was happy that at least they are on the third day of the tournament instead of the first.

Smith believes that the weather does not have any real affects on the athletes as well, “They are professionals so they know how to adjust and to be properly warmed up.” What also helps is that the Hilton has provided the athletes and officials with a room in the Hilton where they could rest and basically keep dry and wait until the weather got better.

Youngster Joshua Cepeda, one of only two players from Guam in the tournament, talks about the effects the rain has in his preparation. (phoyto by Kevin Wang)

Youngster Joshua Cepeda, one of only two players from Guam in the tournament, talks about the effects the rain has in his preparation. (phoyto by Kevin Wang)

For local tennis star Joshua Cepeda it is a different story. “It slows me down and keeps me waiting to play,” said Cepeda who lost his doubles match with his partner Colin Sinclair later in the afternoon, but appreciated the opportunity to play with pros. “It helped my game to be around players that hit harder and play at a faster pace,” said Cepeda who will use the advice that he picked up from the pros and develop his game over the summer.

PRESS RELEASE – No. 2 seed Yasutaka Uchiyama, a member of Japan’s Davis Cup team that earned the right to play later this year against Colombia for a spot in the World Group, continued to roll through the bracket with a 6-2, 6-2 win over compatriot Katsuki Nagao to move into the quarterfinals. The 20-year-old Uchiyama had once reached the doubles finals of the Australian Open Junior Championships and also was a doubles quarterfinalist in the doubles competition of the Junior Championships, Wimbledon. The Sapporo native reached the semifinals of the 2011 Guam Futures, losing to eventual champion and top seed Daniel Yoo of Korea, 6-3, 6-3. With partner Hiroyasu Ehara, Uchiyama also reached the doubles semifinals, but the team lost to eventual champions, Isaac Frost and Brendan Moore of Australia, 6-3, 6-4.

Uchiyama takes a break from singles play Thursday and will next play another Japanese opponent, No. 5 Yuichi Ito, who won against Soichiro Moritani 6-0, 6-1. Moritani earlier had beaten former ATP No. 12 Dominik Hrbaty in one of the tournament’s opening matches to set up the Round 2 match up with Ito.

No. 2 Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan concentrates as he prepares to send a forehand return to Katsuki Nagao in Day 3 singles action of the 2013 Lacoste GVB Futures tennis tournament at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa tennis courts. Uchiyama defeated Nagao 6-2, 6-2 to advance into the singles quarterfinals. (courtesy photo)

No. 2 Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan concentrates as he prepares to send a forehand return to Katsuki Nagao in Day 3 singles action of the 2013 Lacoste GVB Futures tennis tournament at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa tennis courts. Uchiyama defeated Nagao 6-2, 6-2 to advance into the singles quarterfinals. (courtesy photo)

In other singles matches, Japan’s Masato Shiga eliminated the first ranked player in the singles bracket – No. 3 Junn Mitsuhashi – who also is his doubles partner in this tournament and was a 2010 Guam Futures finalist. Shiga advanced with a 6-0, 6-7(4), 6-1 victory and No. 8 Woong-Sun Jun of Korea stamped his ticket into the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Japan’s Ren Nakamura.

In doubles action, No. 3 Gengo Kikuchi and Shunrou Takeshima prevailed over Guam’s Joshua Cepeda and the United States’ Colin Sinclair 6-2, 6-0, No. 2 Uchiyama and partner Bumpei Sato move into the doubles semifinals with a 6-4, 7-6(1) win over Australia’s Moore and David Barclay, and No. 4 Nagao and Hiromasa Oku prevailed over Korean tandem Woong-Sun Jun and Bang-Ho Song 7-5, 6-2.

No. 1 Yuichi Ito and Takuto Niki were scheduled to play Mitsuhashi and Shiga, but the match has been moved to Thursday, not before 1 p.m. on Court 1.

Thursday’s matches will begin at 10 a.m., weather permitting, with No. 4 Niki taking on Moore on Court 1, followed by No. 7 Sato playing the United States’ Patrick Davidson. On Court 2, No. 1 Saketh Myneni of India will face Oku at 10 a.m., followed by No. 6 Gengo Kikuchi against India’s Neishit Vakil.

The tournament’s updated order of play and drawsheets are available for viewing or download from facebook.com/GuamFutures. Updates are also available by following @GuamFutures on Twitter.

 

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QUICK HITS

Shawn Bamba won the Arizona state wrestling championship while siblings Jussiah and Justyn took third place in their divisions at state.
Shawn (12th) won the 150-lb division while Jussiah (11th) took bronze in the 120-lb class and Justyn (9th) took bronze in the 106-lb category.
All three were born on Guam before moving to Surprise, Arizona in 2014, where they all picked up wrestling in 2016.
Their parents are Justin and Shannon Bamba from Pago Bay.
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His sister Naiya took 3rd place in the 100-lb girls division.

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