Top-ranked Carol Lee made her presence felt in the 2018 Northern Marianas Junior Championships by sweeping her second round foe yesterday at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan hard courts.
Lee outclassed Japan’s Yuina Igarashi, 6-1, 6-3, to win her first match in this ITF Juniors tournament and lead the quarterfinalists in the 32-player draw. In the Round of 8, Lee will face another Japanese foe in No. 5 seed Mio Kozaki, who eliminated CNMI player Coume Kaga, 6-0, 6-0.
Isabel Heras, also suffered a shutout loss to No. 8 and Japan’s Manaki Ukita, leaving Lee the lone Commonwealth player in contention for the singles championship. Earlier in the first round last Monday, Maria Gregoire, Tania Tan, and Malika Miyawaki bowed to their respective opponents.
Joining Lee, Kozaki, and Ukita in the quarterfinals are No. 4 Chui Kei Lung and No. 2 Wing Ka Lin of Hong Kong, No. 3 Ai Yamaguchi of Japan and the unseeded Eunseo Yun and Gi Woo Choi of South Korea.
Choi stunned No. 7 seed Mua Shigeta of Jaoan, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3, to set up a Round of 8 tiff against Lin, who swept Australia’s Sasha Nelson, 6-1, 6-0. Yamaguchi also took only two sets to down South Korea’s Min Kyo Kim, 6-0, 6-0, and arranged a meeting with Ukita in the next round at the bottom half of the draw.
At the bottom half, Yun pulled off an upset over No. 6 Sakura Kurokawa of Japan, 6-2, 6-2. Yun will next duel Leung, who moved into the quarterfinals following a 6-4, 7-5 triumph against Japan’s Nanari Katsumi.
Meanwhile, the girls doubles games continue today with Lee and Lin seeded first and going up against Iagarahi and Kurokawa, who ousted the Heras and Nelson, 6-2, 6-2.
In other doubles results yesterday, Kaga and Miyawaki marched into the quarterfinals after outlasting Gregoire and Tan, 1-6, 7-5 (11-9). Kaga and Miyawaki will next challenge the No. 2 seed Kozaki and Leung for a spot to the semifinals.
In the boys division singles, Ken Song and Seung Hyun Kim faltered in their first round assignments as they bowed to South Korea’s Ha-neul Choe, 1-6, 4-6, and the U.S.’ Maxwell Omalley, 0-6, 1-6.
With Song and Kim joining Ji Wan Ryu, Seung Jin Paik, Jimin Wo, and Richard Steele in the showers, only Robbie Schorr and Sean Lee are in the race for the singles crown.
Schorr will be squaring off against No. 3 seed Jose Antonio Tria at Court 2 at 9:30am, while in the first game at the same court, Lee will also collide against a seeded player in No.7 and Chinese-Taipei’s Ming-Chieh Chiu.
In the doubles, the championship will be contested by the visiting players, as all CNMI bets were eliminated yesterday.
Siblings Suk and Sukhee Ann ousted Schorr and OMalley, 6-3, 7-5, while another Korean pair—Choe and Donggyu Kim—booted out Lee and Song, 4-6, 6-1, 10-4. Australia’s Alexey Shtengelov and Mitchell Smith downed Seung Hyun Kim and Ryu, 6-0, 6-1, while Deisa and Tomi Perica, also from the Land Down Under, topped Paik and Woo, 6-2, 6-3.