In May 2019, Abigail Tere-Apisah became the first women from Pacific Oceania to win a Women Singles Event when she won The WTA25 in Singapore beating top seed, Valeria Savinkh (RUS) 63, 63. She followed this up a couple of weeks later winning her 6th Doubles title when she paired with Junri Namigata (JPN) to win the W25 Hong Kong Event. This took her world singles ranking to 276 going into the Pacific Games before surgery and related complication forced her absence from the Tour for 3 months
Abigail Tere-Apisah (PNG) is currently the only Pacific Oceania player on the WTA Tour. She finished 2019 with a Year Ending Singles Ranking of 490 and a Doubles Ranking of 520. She is currently 431 and 454 respectively following some good results recently in Australia.
In November 2019, she was awarded a Wildcard into the Australian Open Asia Pacific Wildcard Play-Off in Zhuhai, China from Monday 3rd-Sunday 9th December. This was the 4th year in succession that this event was held in Zhuhai where Abigail was a finalist in 2018. The event saw more than 100 players competing for Singles, Doubles and also Junior Australian Open Wildcards. In total, players from 9 countries including China, India, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Uzbekistan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Pakistan played at the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off. The Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off is a key part of the Australian Open’s commitment to growing interest and visibility of the tournament throughout the region.
She was one of 2 Pacific Oceania Players to receive a 2019 International Player Grand Slam Grant financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF). The programme is now in its 3rd year and this is the 3rd consecutive year that Abigail Tere-Apisah has received this grant. The other player to receive this grant was Colin Sinclair (NMI). This grant is intended as a contribution towards their competition-related costs, with the aim of helping them to develop as professional tennis players and compete in Grand Slam Tournaments. The GSDF considers specific age, ranking and regional representation criteria when making decisions on which players should receive grants with both Pacific Oceania players deemed to show exceptional potential and will go a long way towards helping both players reach their potential and become stars of the future.
On the 6th August 2018, Abigail Tere-Apisah (PNG) achieved her highest ever World Singles Ranking of 276 (currently 351). She also achieved on the 11th June 2018 her highest ever World Doubles Ranking of 224 (currently 434). To assist her travel and other costs she received a US$12,500 2018 International Player Grand Slam Grant financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund. This programme provides to selected players a contribution towards their competition-related costs, with the aim of helping them develop as professional tennis players and compete in Grand Slam Tournaments. In awarding these grants, the Committee considers specific age, ranking and regional representation criteria with all recipients deemed to show exceptional potential. In 2017 she received US$25,000
Two Pacific Oceania players, Abigail Tere-Apisah (PNG) and Steffie Carruthers (SAM) finished 2017 with world rankings on the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) circuit. Their year-end world rankings for 2017 are:
|PLAYER|| SINGLES |
| DOUBLES |
|Abigail Tere-Apisah (PNG)||377||242|
|Steffie Carruthers (SAM)||Not Ranked||1136=|
Abigail had her best ever year of the Women’s Professional Circuit. She started well at the beginning of the year in January winning the 2017 Queensland Money Race Final at the Queensland Tennis Centre. Seeded 3rd for the tournament she beat the Australian, Kaylah McPhee, to win the tournament.
In March 2007 she broke into the top 400 for the first time in her career following her reaching the quarter-final singles in ITF tournaments in both Perth and Mildura. Then in May 2017, she became one of only 14 players globally selected by the ITF to receive the first ever International Player Grant financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund. She received US$25,000 as the highest ranked player in the Pacific Oceania Region to ensure that at least 1 male and 1 female player from each Region of the World received a grant. This grant was intended to contribute towards her competition-related costs with the aim of helping her to develop as a professional player and to compete in Grand Slam Tournaments.
She then went on to win 4 ITF Doubles titles in 2017 adding to her first in Brisbane in 2016. The first of these was in June where with her American partner, Sabrina Santamaria, she won the ITF $25,000 Doubles at Bethany Beach, Delaware, USA. September and October proved to be a stellar months for Abigail in Australia winning 3 Doubles Titles with her partner, Naiktha Bains (AUS) at the $25,000 Tournaments in Penrith, Brisbane and Cairns. In the latter event she lost the Singles Final to Olivia Rogowska 1-6,6-2,6-2. She additionally reached the Singles quarter-finals in the Canberra ITF $60,000 event and the semi-finals of the Bendigo ITF $60,000 event. Following on the back of these results Tennis Australia awarded her a Main Draw Wildcard into the Australian Open 2018 Play-Off event in Zhuhai, China. En route to the Final she beat the 3rd seed, Junri Namigata(JPN),comprehensively overpowering the 2nd seed Jing-Jing Lu (CHN) 6-1,6-1 before losing the Final to Xinyu Wang (CHN)4-6, 7-5, 6-4
Two Pacific Oceania players, Abigail Tere-Apisah (PNG) and Steffie Carruthers (SAM) are currently playing professionally on the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) circuit. Their year-end world rankings are:
|PLAYER|| SINGLES |
| DOUBLES |
|Abigail Tere-Apisah (PNG)||447||592|
|Steffie Carruthers (SAM)||1124||826|
Abigail has had a stellar rise in the world rankings, particularly in the latter half of the year to position herself well in the top 400s to make a marked push to improve her ranking in 2017 as most of her points she will retain for the first half of 2017. The highlight for her was winning her first professional doubles title on the hard courts of the $25,000 Brisbane QTC International in late September.
Partnering with Australian Naiktha Bains, they firstly qualified in the qualifying doubles event to then beat many highly ranked players and then to beat Julia Glushko (ISR)/Fangzhou Liu(CHN) in the final 6-7(4), 6-2, 10-3
In the Singles, Abigail, after qualifying through the qualifying draw, lost her semi-final match to the 7th seed, Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) having earlier beaten the 4th seed from Japan, Eri Hozumi, who is ranked #197 in the world. She additionally had exceptional results in the $50,00 Bendigo and $25,000 Cairns events where she reached the semi-finals in both events after qualifying in both events.
Earlier in the year she reached the finals of the 2016 Queensland Money Race Finals with 3 clinical and convincing wins, the last of which in the semi-finals against Anna Wishink with a previous WTA ranking of 495. In the final she lost to Zuzana Zlochova, who previously had a WTA ranking of 263.
Samoan born Steffie Carruthers created Pacific Oceania Tennis history when she became the first player ever to win a professional tennis event.
Playing with her Mexican partner, Carolina Betancourt, in the ITF $10,000 doubles event at Manzanillo, Mexico they withstood a tight 3 setter in the semis to again also win the doubles final in a Match Tie-Break against the all American pairing of Tornado Black/Dasha Ivanova 6-1,4-6,12-10
Then several months later in September 2015 she won her 2nd ITF title when she won the ITF $10,000 Doubles Title on Clay at Bol, Croatia with her Russian partner Alina Silich. In the final they beat the 3rd seeds 7-6(3), 3-6, 10-5 after earlier winning against the 4th and top seeds
Steffie Carruthers (SAM) continues to play on the Women’s Professional Circuit and has improved her Singles Year End ranking of 1070 to a Year End 2014 ranking of 708 in Singles and 906 in Doubles. On the 1th October she hit a career high Singles Ranking of 662 on the back of a 2014 Singles win/loss record or 10/23
Coached by Carlos Casely, she has been playing tournaments mainly on the hard and clay court of the USA, Central and South America.