Carol climbs up in world rankings


Carol Lee, seen here in file photo making a backhand return in an ITF Juniors ranking event on Saipan last year, is still in Morocco, competing in her third tournament in the North African country this month. (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI’s Carol Lee is on track of reaching the Top 300 in the world rankings after moving six notches up following her quarterfinal stint in the ITF/CAT North African Circuit 2017 last week in Morocco.

Lee is now ranked No. 330—her highest—climbing the latter 23 notches after joining two high-level tournaments under the ITF Junior Circuit this month. She gained additional 20 points in the Grade 3 ITF/CAT North African Circuit for winning two matches in the singles event and making it to the quarterfinals.

In the Round of 8, the CNMI bet was pitted against the No. 1 seed Sina Zuger of Switzerland. Lee went on to stun Zuger in the opening set, 6-4, before the latter avoided an upset by slipping past the Commonwealth junior player in the last two, 6-4, 7-5. The Swiss eventually took the singles crown after another three-set victory against No. 2 seed Katya Townsend of the U.S., 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-4.

With her 20 points in last week’s tournament, Lee’s total in singles is now at 125, as she also gained 20 points in the Mediterranée Avenir held early this month. The 15-year-old player advanced to the Round 32 of the Grade 1 event. Adding her 75 in doubles, Lee now has combined ranking points of 143.75.

She could earn more, as she is still in contention in the doubles events of her third and last tournament in Morocco this year.

Lee is in the quarterfinals of the doubles of the Grade 4 event after teaming up with American Skyler Marie Grishuk in beating Algeria’s Houria Boukholda and Morocco’s Yasmine Kabbaj, 6-2, 6-2, last Tuesday in the RUC Tennis Junior Open at the Tennis Clos de l’aviation Route d’El Jadida in Casablanca.

Lee and Grishuk are the No. 1 seeds in the 16-team field and were scheduled to duel Amami Banks of Great Britain and Lynda Benkaddour of Algeria for one of the two semis berths at the top half of the draw.

The quarterfinal game was personal for Lee as she would like to avenge her loss to Banks in the opening round of the singles play. Banks pulled off an upset against the No. 4 seed Lee last Monday, 6-2, 6-2. Banks and Benkaddour, whom Lee defeated in Round 2 of the ITF/CAT North African Circuit 2017, got a second crack at the CNMI player and Grishuk after winning over Morocco’s Arwa Boussayri and Sara Rakim, 6-3, 6-1.

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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