The CNMI’s Carol Lee made it to the quarterfinals of the singles event in the 2019 Oceania Closed Junior Championships after sweeping her first two matches in the 2019 Australian Winter International in Tweed Heads, New South Wales.
Lee first topped Australia’s Cyan Sun last Wednesday, 6-1, 6-4, and then defeated Jessie Culley, also from the Land Down Under, in the second round yesterday, 6-3, 6-4, to reach the Round of 8.
The No. 1 seed will play in the quarterfinals today against No. 6 Talia Gibson, a familiar foe for the CNMI bet. The Australian eliminated Lee in the semifinals of the 2019 Oceania Closed Junior Championships last week, foiling the latter’s bid for a return trip to the finals of the Grade 2 tournament in Fiji.
The Australian Winter International is also a Grade 2 event that awards 160 and 120 ranking points to the singles and doubles champions, respectively.
Gibson, who lost to her compatriot, Amy Stevens, in the finals in Fiji, arranged another duel with Lee after also prevailing in her first two games in the Australian Winter. Gibson won her all-Aussies tiff against Cassidy Mataia, 6-2, 6-3, and then slipped past New Zealand’s Vivian Yang, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, to set a quarterfinal date with Lee.
The winner in the Lee-Gibson encounter will move into the semis against the victor in the match between unseeded Mia Repac and Olivia Symons at the upper half of the draw. Repac notched a quarterfinals berth after stunning No. 2 seed Natasha Russell, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 7-6 (3) and ousting Japan’s Manami Ukita, 6-3, 7-6(4). Symons, on the other hand, won over fellow Aussie Jasmine Adams, 6-2, 6-3, and Malaysia’s Anja Nayar, 6-4, 6-2.
At the lower half of the draw, the quarterfinalists were Stevens, China’s Zongyu Li, Malaysia’s Sarah Nayar, and No. 2 seed Olivia Gadecki of Australia.
Meanwhile, Lee is also in the quarterfinals of the doubles event after she and Li eased past Australia’s Jessica Jade Haylo and Hana Sonton, 6-1, 6-1. Next up for the No. 1 see Lee and Li are Adams and Mataia, who prevailed against compatriot Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz and New Zealand’s Yang, 6-4, 6-1.