World-ranked Carol Lee had another easy win in the 2017 Oceania Closed Junior Championships yesterday at the Regional Training Center in Lautoka, Fiji.
Lee swept Elys Saguil-Ventura of Australia, 6-3, 6-0, in the second round match in the girls singles event of the B2 tournament. Lee also came from a two-set victory (similar scores) in her opening game against Saguil-Ventura’s compatriot Grace Schumacher last Monday to move to Round 2. Saguil-Ventura, on the other hand, edged Tahiti’s Naia Guitton to earn the right to face Lee in the next round.
With the world No. 239 Lee cutting Saguil-Ventura’s stint in the ITF Juniors competition short, the CNMI player arranged a quarterfinal showdown against a familiar foe in Australia’s Megan Smith. Lee and Smith will meet for the third time today after splitting their first two duels. The Commonwealth bet outclassed the Queensland native, 4-6, 6-3, 10-2, in the finals of the consolation draw of the 14/U Australian Championships two years ago. Smith then settled the score in the same tournament (team event) when she also slipped past Lee in the first singles match, 5-4 (5), 3-5, 7-10.
Regardless of the results of Lee’s third collision with Smith, the 15-year-old player has already surpassed her performance in the Oceania Closed last year. Lee only won one match in the 2016 edition of the tournament in Fiji, beating Australia’s Monique Belovukovic of Australia, 6-0, 6-2, before losing to Mikaela Haet, also of Australia, in the Round of 16, 5-7, 1-6.
The CNMI junior player has also improved her results in the doubles after she and Australia’s Oleksandra Kalachova prevailed against the latter’s compatriot Isabella Bozicevic and Helena Spiridis in their first round match yesterday, 6-2, 6-3. Last year, Lee teamed up with Palau’s Ayana Rengiil and they bowed to Ella Husrefovic and Jessica Zaviacic in the opening round, 5-7, 4-6.
With the victory this time, Lee and Kalachova gained a spot in the quarterfinals and incidentally they will challenge Smith and Roopa Bains for a seat in the semifinals. Bains and Smith advanced to the Round of 3 following a 6-1, 7-5 win over the CNMI’s Isabel Heras and Australia’s Milan Krish.
Heras is done in the doubles, but will still play in the singles event. She is in the plate after losing her opener in the main draw and will battle Australia’s Joy Andreou today.
Robbie Schorr, the third Commonwealth player entered in the tournament, is in the plate, too of the boys singles play and will square off against Vanuatu’s Marlin Hannam.