The CNMI’s Carol Lee narrowly lost in the finals of the UTR Pro Tennis Series Miami Women tennis league last Monday in Miami, Florida.
The Georgia Tech sophomore won her first five matches in the tournament before losing to Jessica Livianu of St. John’s University in the finals, 6-7 (3), 5-7.
The 5’9” Saipan Community School alumna advanced to the championship round after beating University of North Carolina’s Kacie Harvey in the semifinals, 6-0, 6-3, last Dec. 19.
Lee started her campaign in the UTR Pro Tennis Series Miami Women tennis league with a 7-5, 5-1 win over Nicole Conard of Dartmouth last Dec. 14. She followed that up with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Tenika McGiffin of University of Tennessee 6-2, 6-4 the next day.
On Dec. 16, Lee easily handled Kelsey Lewis of Australia, 6-1,6-0, before barging into the quarterfinals of the tourney after outlasting Isabel Pacheco of University Sports Program (no scores available).
“Overall, I am happy with the results from the tournament. I felt that I have stepped up my game from the previous matches I played. I am looking forward to compete next spring semester with the team (Georgia Tech),” Lee told Saipan Tribune after her runner-up finish in the tournament.
The 2021 ITA Scholar-Athlete said her mindset for the tournament was strong and her body was ready to battle.
“I was confident to play on clay courts because I knew that my type of play style would work really well.”
The finals actually could’ve gone a third set as a controversial call at 6-5 and the 12th game at 15-15 all changed the complexion of the match. Lee hit an apparent winner on the inside corner based on video footage that the umpire ultimately called out.
“I wished that I could have a different referee because she was horrible at calling the balls. I thought that her calls were very untrustworthy. If I have won those points that I lost, the momentum of the game would have shifted,” said Lee.
She, however, acknowledged that the match shouldn’t have been determined by the umpire’s missed call if she only played better.
“But also I could have played more aggressively by hitting more down the lines, go to the net, and finish off the point either at the net or from swing volley. I’m planning to send a long complaint to the official UTR and send them a video clip,” she said.