Heras moves to finals of consolation draw

Isabel Heras, seen here playing in a local tournament early this year, will play in the finals of the consolation plate of the 2017 Oceania Closed Junior Championships today in Fiji. (Contributed Photo)

Isabel Heras made up for her early exit in the main draw of the 2017 Oceania Closed Junior Championships as she advanced to the finals of the consolation plate of the singles competition.

The CNMI junior player, who bowed to Australia’s Zara Brankovic right in the opening round of the 32-player draw, 0-1, 1-6, last Monday, defeated Eleanor Schuster of Samoa in two sets yesterday at the Regional Training Center in Lautoka, Fiji, to march into the title match in their division. Heras eased past Schuster in the first set, 4-0 before laboring for a 5-4 (7) victory in the second set to gain the finals berth at the top half of the consolation plate.

The 16-year-old Heras’ foe in today’s finals is the Solomon Islands’ Georjemah Row, who eliminated Australia’s Luciana Kunkel, 5-4 (3), 5-3, and Fiji’s Vienna Kumar Fongh, 4-2, 4-1 at the lower half of the bracket.

In other results, No. 1 seed and Papua New Guinea’s Violet Apisah entered the singles finals of the main draw after dominating unranked Australian Chiara Di Tommaso, 6-0, 6-0. Apisah’s opponent in today’s title game is Carol Lee’s tormentor, Megan Smith of Australia. The unseeded Smith continued her stunning showing in the B2 tournament after pulling off an upset over No. 2 and compatriot Lisa Mays in the other semis pairing, 6-2, 6-4. Smith earlier survived Lee in a three-set match, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, to move into the Final Four.

Smith and her teammate Roopa Bains also made it to the semis in the doubles, but were later eliminated by Violet and her sister Patricia. The PNG pair swept the Aussie duo, 6-2, 6-3, to arrange a finals duel against No. 3 Valentina Ivanov and Amber Marshall, who ousted Di Tommaso and Holly Stewart in similar scores.

In the boys singles plate, the CNMI’s Robbie Schorr faltered in his semis bid after losing to Australia’s Corey Clarke, 0-4, 1-4

Schorr is also entered in the mixed doubles and he and Australia’s Milan Kish will meet the Aussie pair of Jayden Court and Joy Andreou for a spot to the quarterfinal round. Lee will play in the mixed doubles, too, partnering with New Zealand’s Finley Hall. The CNMI and New Zealand players duo drew a bye in the opening round to automatically move into the quarters where they will face the winner in the match between the tandems of Di Tommaso and Vanuatu’s Marlin Hannam and Australia’s Cihan Akay and Luciana Kunkel.

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Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for 16 years. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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