The CNMI’s Carol Lee swept her way through the opening round of the Mundial Juvenil Yucatan HSBC FMT.
Lee took only two sets to dispatch American Elvina Kalieva, 6-2, 6-4, yesterday at the Club Campestre de Yucatán Calle in Merida, Mexico to advance to the second round of the Grade A tournament.
Next up for the Commonwealth bet is Hungary’s Adrienn Nagy and the second round match will be the acid test for Lee. Nagy is seeded No. 13 in the 64-player singles field and gained a Round 2 berth after demolishing Jennifer Gadalov of the U.S., 6-0, 6-0. The Hungarian is ranked No. 43 in the world and made it to the semifinals of her previous tournament (Copa Mundial Campeche FMT where Lee also participated and lost in the first round). The 17-year-old also owns two singles and three doubles championships against Lee’s three singles and two doubles titles.
Meanwhile, the 16-year-old Lee is relieved to pass through the opening round of her second tournament in Mexico and looks forward for a couple more wins in this high-ranking competition.
“Unfortunately, I lost in the singles in the first week in Mexico, but I feel more confident with myself in doubles now. I’m happy that I made it to the semifinals in doubles and I want to win more matches,” Lee said.
“Having confidence in higher grade tournaments has been a challenge for me, so getting some wins under my belt will mean a lot. It gives me confidence than I can compete with some really good players. I’m hoping to carry that through the rest of the tour,” added Lee, who will also play in a couple of tournaments in the U.S. next month.
Her second event in Mexico is played in clay court and that’s an added challenge to Lee.
“The change from hard court to clay is quite significant. I’m used to playing on hard so the change will be a challenge. I have played on clay in North Africa this year and last year so I do have some experience. I’m optimistic,” Lee said.