COOK ISLANDS tennis representatives competing at the 2019 Pacific Games have overcome the adversity of their first week of competition, putting themselves in the medal race in the individual competition currently underway at Apia Park, Samoa.
The team competition concluded last Thursday, with both the men’s and women’s teams failing to make the medal race. It was a particularly difficult task for the team, given that Tamarua Payne and Ruby Pierre both contracted acute gastroenteritis last Wednesday.
Payne was forced to default his first match of the individual competition last Friday, due to illness. Pierre and Payne were still too sick to compete in their doubles match scheduled for last Saturday, defaulting that also. Pierre recovered in time for her match against Papua New Guinea’s Patricia Marie Apisah on Monday, but unfortunately went down in straight sets.
Meanwhile, Ruby’s father Jason Pierre lost his first match of the individual competition against Guam’s Camden Camacho in straight sets last Friday. Jason played alongside Davina Hosking-Ashford in their mixed doubles match later in the day, the duo unfortunately going down to Fiji’s mixed doubles side.
Hosking-Ashford began her efforts in Samoa with a well-earned win over Samoa’s Penina Kamu last Friday. She unfortunately lost her second match, going down to Leilany Ipunesso from New Caledonia 0-6, 1-6.
Tamara Anderson has been a standout for the team, winning her first match of the individual competition with a victory over American Samoa’s Francine Amoa last Sunday. Anderson followed up with another strong performance on Monday, defeating Fiji’s Vienna Kumar 6-0, 6-2.
National tennis legend Brett Baudinet has also had a strong start to the individual competition, winning his mixed doubles match with Anderson 6-2, 6-2 against hosts Samoa. Baudinet unfortunately lost his next match against Tonga’s Matavao Fanguna in straight sets, before going on to win his doubles match with Jason Pierre 6-2, 6-1 against hosts Samoa. Baudinet followed this up with a strong showing in his mixed doubles match with Anderson, the duo defeating Tonga’s Taufa Maasi and Brookie Maasi 6-3, 6-1.