CNMI junior player Carol Lee earned semis berths in the singles and doubles events in the Auckland ITF Indoor Championships 2016.
Lee barged into the semis round of the 48-player singles field after surviving New Zealand’s Oleksandra Kalachova in a three-set game last Friday at the Scarbro Tennis Centre in Auckland, New Zealand. The 14-year-old Lee lost the opening set of their quarterfinal match, 2-6, but stayed in the game after working out a 6-3 victory in the second set. The third-ranked Lee went on to complete the come-from-behind win after pulling off a 7-6 victory in the deciding third set against the No. 5 seed Kiwi.
The Commonwealth bet’s triumph over Kalachova was her first three-set match in the ITF Juniors ranking tournament. Lee, earlier in the first and second rounds, swept New Zealand’s Amelia Lawson, 6-3, 6-1, and Australia’s Kirijana Petreski, 6-0, 6-1.
With her third straight win, Lee took the semis berth at the lower half of the draw and was pitted against second-ranked Ashleigh Harvey of New Zealand last Saturday. The Kiwi went on to foil Lee’s finals bid after coasting to a 6-1, 6-0 win in their Final Four showdown. Harvey, however, faltered in the finals when Australia’s Lisa Mays won the battle of the Top 2 seeds in the title match, 6-3, 6-0.
Meanwhile, in the doubles event, Lee and Palau’s Ayana Rengiil prevailed in their first two matches to advance to the semifinals. The two Pacific Oceania players gained a Final Four berth after slipping past sisters Paige and Lauren Alter in quarterfinals, which went to a super-tiebreaker third set.
The third-ranked Lee and Rengiil, who downed New Zealand’s Amily Suga and Australia’s Angelina Esabella Teakaraanga in the first round, 6-0, 7-5, dropped the opening set, 3-6, of their quarterfinal game, but regrouped in the second with a similar 6-3 triumph. Lee and Rengiil then picked up where they left off in the super-tiebreaker third set, winning four of the last four games, 10-4, to move into the semis.
In the Final Four, Lee had a familiar opponent in Harvey, who teamed up with compatriot Janvhi Clark. The Kiwis ended up winning the semis game via sweep, 6-3, 6-2, and took the doubles crown following a 7-6 (1) and 6-4 victory against No. 1 seeds Mays and Kalachova.