Carol Lee provided some spark to the CNMI's bleak performance in Day 2 of the 2012 Tennis Auckland Xmas Junior Tournament.
Lee swept her second day matches in the girls U12 singles to keep her quarterfinals bid alive and made up for the unremarkable performance of teammates Isabel Heras and Luther Lizama at the Manukau Tennis Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, yesterday.
The 11-year-old Lee did not drop a single set in Day 2 of the competition, shutting out Imogen Renee Rodgers, 6-0, 6-0, in her first morning match, and then whipping Kendra Paea in the second game, 6-3, 6-1. The CNMI netter had earlier came from a 6-1, 6-1 spanking of Jemima Mary Parkinson last Tuesday and the two victories yesterday boosted her chances for one of the two quarterfinals tickets in Group D.
Lee has three games left in her pool and will need at least two to advance to the next round. She will duel Group D's top-ranked and the field's No. 4 seed Tharubphet Homkrun today at 8:30am (1:30pm Saipan time) and No. 5 Sophie Rose Michl at 10:30am before closing out her pool matches tomorrow against winless Nancy Fatai (0-4). Homkrun and Michl are Lee's rivals for the quarterfinals berth, as the former held a 3-0 mark after Day 2, following a victory over Michl (3-1).
In Group B results, fatigue took its toll on Heras, as she dropped two of her three straight matches in Day 2 to fall at the No. 3 spot in her pool. She first bowed to tournament second seed Holly Stewart in a tough three-set morning game that lasted for about two hours. Stewart won the extended opening set, 7-6 (3), but missed the sweep when Heras prevailed in the second, 6-3. The deciding set was another tight match with Stewart, winning, 10-5.
Heras first match in Day 2 started at 8:30am and finished at 10:13am, leaving her with only 17 minutes to rest before returning to the court to face another ranked foe, Courtney Eva Huff. The CNMI junior player dropped her second game, 4-6, 2-6, but managed to avoid a Day 2 shutout, as she won her 1:30pm afternoon match over Meraul Loibl, 6-1, 6-3.
Each of Heras' Day 2 games last for more than an hour and with the CNMI bet having a 2-2 record in Group B, she has to win her last match today against Carys Elisabeth Robson (2-0) and hope that the neither the latter nor Huff (2-1) gets victory No. 3 to stay in contention for the quarterfinals seat.
In the boys U12 singles, Lizama lost to No. 7 seed Hikaru Iizuka yesterday, 1-6, 2-6, and fell to a 2-1 record for a tie for second place in Group F. He is in a deadlock with Augusto Filippo La Cava, who will face the CNMI bet today at 9:30am for the right to join Iizuka in the Round of 16.