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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lee triumphs in Australian debut

The CNMI’s Carol Lee, right, poses with Fiji’s Mulan Kamoe, left, and Palau’s Ayana Rengiil before starting their training session at the Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia last week. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO) The CNMI’s Carol Lee ruled the consolation draw in the 2013 Tennis World JT Bronze held at the Tennis World-Melbourne Park in Victoria, Australia.

Lee, who is part of the Junior ITF Pacific Touring Team that is competing in a series of tournaments in the Land Down Under, was entered in the girls U14 singles division of the event held from Dec. 11 to 15. She first had to go through a qualifying tournament to make it to the main draw and she eventually advanced after stunning two seeded foes.

The 11-year-old player started her campaign in the tournament with an impressive 6-0, 6-0 victory over the No. 14-ranked Tallie Michael Collins before scoring another upset over the fourth-seeded Laura Lawrence Ashley, 6-0, 6-2. With her back-to-back wins, Lee earned one of the eight remaining slots in the main draw, joining fellow qualifiers Madison Rose Brown, Summer Jones, Jessie Burbridge, Amelia Werner, Zoe Tan, Belle Thompson, and teammate Ayana Rengiil of Palau. Lee and Palau were the only unseeded players to survive the qualifying round.

Lee went on to extend her winning run in last week’s tournament with a 6-0, 6-2 victory against Zoe Duff in the opening round of the main draw. Then in the second round, eighth-ranked Alessia Roso avoided Lee’s upset axe after notching a 6-2, 6-3 victory last Friday.

With the second round loss, Lee dropped to the consolation bracket where she swept her last four games to top the field. Lee first outclassed fellow qualifier Werner in the second round, 6-2, 6-0, to march into the quarterfinals where she dominated Thompson, 6-0, 6-0. Now in the semifinals, Lee was pitted against Rengiil and won the all-Pacific Team Final Four match, 6-3, 6-3, to advance to the finals against main draw entry Hana Kim. Kim earlier made it to the finals after gaining two wins via sweeps, but proved to be no match against Lee, who blanked the former in the opening set, 6-0, before cruising to a 6-2 victory in the second. Lee’s second round tormentor Roso won the main draw after downing the third-seeded Teodora Vuruna in the finals, 6-2, 7-6 (4)
Meanwhile, Lee also joined the girls U14 doubles, teaming up with Anastasia Liberidis. The duo topped Collins and Georgia Tovich, 6-0, 6-1, to move into the quarterfinal round. Lee and Liberidis then bowed to the third-ranked pair of Ruby Clayton and Stephanie Hird in the Round of 8, 6-2, 6-1.

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