2 semis appearances for Lee


Carol Lee, seen here in the Saipan-hosted ITF event this year, made it to the semifinals of the singles and doubles event in the Auckland ITF Indoor Championships 2016 held in New Zealand last week. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

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.

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

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