The excitement and anticipation are mounting ahead of the Sol2023 Pacific Games tennis tournament, which begins at 9am on Friday 17 November at Honiara’s newly inaugurated National Tennis Centre.
The event opens with four days dedicated to the teams competition, followed by singles and doubles from Wednesday 22 November to Thursday 30 November.
Northern Mariana Islands won gold in the men’s team competition at the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games, asserting their dominance on the court ahead of silver medallists Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Tahiti (bronze). This year, the contest will be equally fierce.
Meanwhile, PNG emerged victorious in the women’s team event, while silver and bronze were won by Samoa and American Samoa respectively, setting the stage for an exciting confrontation between these teams as they look to re-assert themselves in Honiara.
The women’s singles gold medallist last time out was PNG’s Abigail Tere-Apisah. One of those in line to snatch the title at Sol2023 is none other than her niece, Violet Apisah, who claimed silver at Samoa 2019 or Violet’s sister, Patricia.
The men’s singles champion at Samoa 2019 was Colin Sinclair of Northern Mariana Islands. PNG’s Matthew Stubbings claimed silver, while Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy collected bronze.
Last time out, PNG claimed the most medals across all events (eight) followed by Northern Mariana Islands’ and American Samoa’s hauls of four each.
This year’s tennis event is anticipated to be a showcase of skill, strategy, and determination. With defending champions and emerging talents, spectators can expect a rollercoaster ride of emotions, memorable events, and an expression of sportsmanship that defines the spirit of the Pacific Games.
By Peter Psalm and Francis Pituvaka, Pacific Games News Service