New Zealand’s Hunt fulfills pro tennis dream at 2017 King’s Guam Futures

One of Alex Hunt’s dreams came true when he earned his first professional tennis point after winning his first-ever ITF Pro Circuit main draw match at the 2017 King’s Guam Futures presented by Docomo Pacific and Hilton Guam Resort & Spa.

The 23-year-old from New Zealand, who received a Wild Card into the main draw, advances to the next round following his 6-0, 6-0 win over the Northern Mariana Islands’ Christopher Cajigan, another Wild Card, in the first match of the tournament. The win was highly emotional for Hunt, who was born without half of his left arm and has been wearing a prosthetic arm since he was about six months old.

“I believe I may be the first player missing a limb to earn a professional point and it’s huge for me because it’s always been my dream,” Hunt said after his win. “For me, winning and earning a professional point is also about inspiring other people who may have disabilities, so I believe it’s a big step in being able to do that.”
As a junior tennis player, Hunt was ranked as high as 795 in the world in 2011, but earning a ranking in the ITF Pro Circuit had eluded him through four different Futures events in two different continents before playing in Guam.

“Just to get the monkey off my back and win one is awesome, I’m pretty happy right now,” said Hunt. “For the rest of the tournament, I’m just going to go into each match playing like I have nothing to lose, like I always do, and to have fun out there because that’s why I play the sport – to travel to places like Guam and see the world by playing the sport I love, so I’m just going to enjoy it all.”

After the tournament in Guam, Hunt, a four-year intercollegiate tennis athlete at St. Mary’s College of California, plans to play in upcoming tournaments in Spain, Portugal, and Morocco.

Cajigan, 18, started playing tennis in Saipan and later moved to Guam, attending John F. Kennedy High School for two years. In his two years at JFK, he was nearly unrivaled on the tennis court, earning the IIAAG Tennis League boys champion title both years. He later relocated to California to attend a private tennis academy in Ojai before moving to the Erwin Tennis Training Program in Stockton, California, for his senior year. He currently plays for the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The 2017 King’s Guam Futures is his first-ever ITF Pro Circuit event. Cajigan will also play in the doubles draw, partnering Australia’s Jesse Delaney.

Hunt’s match against Cajigan was one of two matches to conclude before a heavy thunder and lightning storm soaked Hilton’s tennis courts at midday. The first three matches of the day were delayed for almost an hour and a half due to rainy weather conditions and pushed back all other singles matches for the day. Doubles play also was canceled due to the weather.

In the day’s other completed match, Japan’s Keisuke Numajiri used a strong, athletic net game to overwhelm Hong Kong’s Per Nordstrom 6-1, 6-3.

In other matches started before the midday rain, No. 3 Yuichi Ito of Japan was leading Australia’s Jesse Delaney 1-0 and No. 6 Connor Farren of the United States was leading Japan’s Daisuke Sumizawa 5-4.

For information about the tournament and match schedules, visit
https://gntf.org/2017-kings-guam-futures/
http://www.itftennis.com/procircuit/tournaments/men’s-tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100040260