Carol misses semis bid in Fiji


Carol Lee, seen here playing in an ITF Juniors event on Saipan last year, was eliminated from a tournament in Fiji yesterday. (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI’s Carol Lee bowed out of contention in the 2017 Oceania Closed Junior Championships after absorbing back-to-back losses yesterday at the Regional Training Center in Lautoka, Fiji.

Lee first dropped her quarterfinals game against Australia’s Megan Smith, who pulled off the victory after three sets. The Aussie won the opening set, 6-4, but Lee came back with a 6-1 triumph in the second to extend the match. Smith then recovered and posted a 6-3 win to complete an upset over the No. 4 seed Lee and advance to the semifinals against compatriot and No. 2 Lisa Mays. Mays moved into the Final Four after also earning a three-set victory against fellow Aussie Emilia Price, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.

In the other semis pairing, it will be the No. 1 seed Violet Apisah versus the unranked Chira Di Tommaso. Apisah continued to live up to high expectations after sweeping No. 8 and Australia’s Ivana Popovic in their quarterfinal game, 6-2, 6-2. The Papua New Guinea netter has yet to drop a set in the singles contest and is the lone Pacific Oceania player left standing in the event, as her sister Patricia earlier bowed to Price in the second round (retired in the second set). Di Tommaso, on the other hand, became the third Aussie to book a semis berth after stunning No. 3 seed and compatriot Olivia Gadecki, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Meanwhile, Smith made it two in a row and three overall against Lee after the former teamed up with Roopa Bains in beating the CNMI player and fellow Australian Oleksandra Kalachova. Smith faced Lee anew less than two hours after winning their singles match and the Australian duo eked out a 7-6 (4) victory in the first set to push its opponents on the brink. Smith and Bains went on to eliminate the No. 4 seed Lee and Kalachova after an easier 6-1 triumph in the second set.

Smith and Bains are now in the semifinals and will collide against the Apisah siblings, who marched into the Final Four following a tough 6-2, 1-6, 10-8 win over New Zealand’s Tamara Anderson and Louise Waite. The pairs of Di Tommaso and Holly Stewart and Valentina Ivanov and Amber Marshall completed the semis cast after the first duo defeated Gadecki and Mays and the second topped Grace Schumacher and Krystal Clarke.

In other results, Robbie Schorr moved into the quarterfinals of the Plate (for players who lost in the first round of the main draw) of the B2 tournament after sweeping Vanuatu’s Marlin Hannam, 4-0, 4-1. Schorr will try to enter the semifinals today when he takes on Australia’s Corey Clarke, a 4-1, 4-1 winner against Joshua Snowdon-Poole.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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