The CNMI’s Carol Lee made two finals appearances in the 2017 South Pacific Open Junior Championships last weekend at the Regional Tennis Centre Nadovu Park in Lautoka, Fiji.
Lee first played in the doubles finals with Singapore’s Maxine Ng and they advanced to the title game after eliminating their first three opponents via straight sets. The CNM-Singapore pairing first downed Japan’s Riko Ebina and Manami Ukita, 6-1, 6-2, and then topped Australia’s Chiara Di Tommaso and France’s Helena Mohamed, 6-4, 6-3, to move into the semifinals.
In the Final Four, the No. 2 seed Lee and Ng were pitted against another Japanese pair in Ikumi Yamazaki and Hikaru Yoshikawa and the ranked pair also won after only two sets, 6-1, 6-3, to gain the finals berth at the lower half of the draw.
In the finale, it was a battle of the Top 2 seeds as No. 1 and siblings Patricia and Violet Apisah of Papua New Guinea also swept their way to the championship round with their last win coming against No. 3 Yuna Ohashi and Shiho Shibata, 6-2, 6-4. The PNG bet went on to keep their perfect record in the tournament after defeating Lee and Ng in last Saturday’s finals, 6-0, 7-6 (3).
Lee then returned to the Regional Tennis Centre Nadovu Park last Sunday to face Violet anew in the singles finals. The PNG player eased past Lee in the opening set, 6-0, before laboring for a 6-4 triumph in the second to make it two in a row against the latter.
Lee booked a finals ticket in the singles after dispatching four opponents. She won over the Solomon Island’s Georjemah Row, 6-2, 6-3; Japan’s Kaede Tada, 6-1, 6-0; Di Tommaso, 7-5, 6-4, and Saki Imamura, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
With his pair of finals appearances in the Grade 4 tournament, Lee gained additional ITF Juniors ranking points. She got 30 in the singles and 20 in the doubles and could get more as she is also scheduled to compete in the Oceania Open Junior Championships that started yesterday.