Carol Lee notched both the singles and doubles titles in the New Caledonia ITF Junior 2017 yesterday at the Ligue Caledonienne De Tennis in Noumea.
Lee first clinched the singles crown after beating France’s Helena Mohamed in a two-set finale. Though she swept her unranked opponent, the No. 1 seed Lee labored for a 7-5 victory in the opening set before posting an easier victory in the second, 6-2.
The CNMI junior player earlier coasted past No. 6 seed Chiara Di Tommaso of Australia in the quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-1, and No. 2 Ashley Yim on Singapore in the semis, 6-0, 6-1, to book the finals berth at the upper half of the draw. Di Tommaso and Yim arranged their meeting with Lee after eliminating New Caledonia’s Lysiane Moto-Nekiriai, 6-0, 6-2, and New Zealand’s Holly Stewart, 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, respectively.
Mohamed, on the other hand, set her finals duel against Lee following an upset over the No. 2 seed Sara Tsukamoto of the U.S. at the bottom half of the draw, 6-3, 6-3. Before bowing to her French foe, Tsukamoto shut down Australia’s Roopa Bains in the quarterfinals, 6-0, 6-0, while Mohamed beat another seeded opponent in No. 3 Otoha Aoki of Japan, 6-0, 6-4.
Mohamed then hoped to continue her giant slaying in the tournament by facing Lee in the finals. She then gave the Pacific’s highest-ranked junior player (No. 314 before the New Caledonia competition) a run for her money in the opening set before folding up in the homestretch and losing steam in the second.
Lee’s title match against Mohamed was played in the morning, while the former’s championship game in the doubles with partner Stewart took place in the afternoon. The CNMI-New Zealand team went on to down Australia’s Di Tomasso and Grace Schumacher in the finals, 6-4, 6-0, allowing Lee to sweep the New Caledonia tournament and get her third straight championship in the Juniors ITF Circuit. Last month, the Commonwealth player won her first Juniors ITF crown after ruling the doubles event (Skyler Marie Grace Grishuk) in the RUC Tennis Junior Open in Morocco.
Lee and Holly did not drop a single set en route to topping the doubles competition. They first defeated Australia’s Milan Krish and Julia Varvarigos in the quarterfinals, 7-5-6-2, and then New Caledonia’s Lea Bolo and Moto-Nekiriai in the semis, 6-0, 6-1.
Meanwhile, after conquering the New Caledonia ITF Junior 2017 and getting 50 world ranking points (30 in the singles and 20 in the doubles), Lee, along with fellow CNMI player Isabel Heras and Robbie Schorr, will compete in the Open BNP Paribas Junior de Nouvelle-Caledonie, another Grade 5 event that will start today.