CNMI junior player Carol Lee will be tested when she competes for the Pacific Oceania in the 2017 Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group II that will kick off today in Tajikistan.
Lee will debut in the Fed Cup after being named to the elite team that also includes Papua New Guinea’s Abigail Tere-Apisah, Samoa’s Steffi Carruthers, and New Caledonia’s Mayka Zima, and non-playing captain Patrice Cotti of Tahiti. The Commonwealth player is the youngest member of the squad at 15, earning a slot on the squad after powering Pacific Oceania to the title win against Sri Lanka in the 2017 Junior Fed Cup Asia Oceania Pre-Qualifying Zone in India in February this year and getting singles and doubles championships in tournaments under the Juniors ITF Circuit in May and June in Morocco, New Caledonia, and Fiji.
“It will be a great learning experience for Carol because she will be playing against players who are in a very high level. She aims to reach that high level, too one day. Our family is proud of her because she was selected on the team and is willing to learn from her coaches and teammates,” said Carol’s father Dong Min Lee, adding that his daughter is in top condition after competing in a lot of tournaments this year.
Carol arrived in Tajikistan last Saturday after two days of travel and had a brief training session a few hours after she made it to Dushanbe.
“It was a long travel to get here. It took two days to come and it was really tiring. I met two other girls in Auckland, and we all traveled together to Hong Kong where we stayed a night before going to Almaty in Kazakhstan then to Dushanbe,” Carol said in a message sent to Saipan Tribune yesterday evening.
“We have been practicing well so I am looking forward to the matches. The courts are faster than I am used to so it will take some acclimatization and adjusting to a bit. The weather is dry so I need to drink lots of water and stay hydrated all the time. The temperature here is mostly 33 to 40 degree Celsius, but I am used to it because the places I mostly stayed and trained are also really hot,” the CNMI junior player added.
The tournament will be played at the Dushanbe Central Stadium and coaches of Pacific Oceania, host Tajikistan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan had a meeting last night to determine the draw. The 13 teams will be grouped into four with three pools having four squads and one with three squads. A round-robin format will be in place for each pool and the top squad in each group will advance to the semis. The champion team will then be promoted to Group 1, joining China, Japan, India, Thailand, South Korea, and Kazakhstan.