Carol on track to title defense


Carol Lee swept her first to matches in the South Pacific Open Junior Championships 2019 to boost her bid for back-to-back championships in the singles event of the J4 tournament in Fiji.

The CNMI player, who topped the 2018 edition of the competition after beating Japan’s Ikumi Yamazaki in the finals, 6-2, 6-1, routed Australia’s Subi Surenraj last Tuesday, 6-0, 6-0, and then made it two in a row when she swept New Zealand’s Kaithlynn Hart yesterday, 6-1, 6-0.

The pair of victories put the No. 1 seed Lee in the quarterfinals where she will face Japan’s Manami Ukita. The No. 6 seed Japanese advanced to the Round of 8 after eliminating Chinese-Taipei’s Ya Chi Hsu, 7-6 (5), 6-2, and Australia’s Chiara Di Tommaso, 6-3, 6-1.

The six other qualifiers in the quarterfinals are also seeded players: No. 2 Lara Walker and No. 3 Roopa Bains of Australia; No. 10 Callissa Dellabarca and No. 8 Jennifer Kida of the U.S.; No. 4 Kokomi Koyama of Japan; and No. 11 Eleanor Schuster of Samoa.

Schuster and Walker will battle in the quarterfinals of the lower half of the draw, while Kida and Koyama will duel in the other Round of 8 match in the group. At the upper half of the draw, it will be Bains against Dellabarca with the winner facing either Lee or Ukita.

Incidentally, the CNMI player had met Ukita in the same tournament last year. Lee paired with Di Tommaso and they lost to Ukita and Yamazaki in the doubles semifinals of the South Pacific Open.

The 17-year-old is also playing in the doubles event this year and has a different partner in Hong Kong’s Wing Ka Lin. The No. 1 seed pair eased past Vanuatu’s Rosalie Molbaleh and the Solomon Islands’ Zorika Morgan, 6-0, 6-0, to make it to the quarterfinal round. Molbaleh and Morgan set a second round match over Lee and Lin after sweeping Japan’s Ery Fuiji and Yuna Miyauchi, 6-3, 6-3.

Lee and Lin will play in the quarterfinals today against No. 7 seed and Chinese Taipei’s Ya Chi Hsu and En-Chi Wang, who ousted the Australian tandem of Piper Freeman and Surenraj, 6-2, 6-3.

Meanwhile, the CNMI’s Robbie Schorr and Jimin Woo advanced to the second round of the boys singles event.

Woo rallied slipped past New Zealand’s Grayson Schwalger in the opener, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-2, before losing to No. 8 seed and Australia’s Amor Jasika, 2-6, 0-6, in the second round. The No. 11 seed Schorr, on the other hand, drew a bye and automatically marched into Round 2, but was beaten by Chinese-Taipei’s Chuan Yu Chiu, 6-4, 6-4.

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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