Carol sweeps Oceania Open

Carol Lee, seen here in action in the 2018 Northern Marianas Junior Championships on Saipan in May, won both the singles and doubles titles in the Oceania Open Junior Championships 2018 last weekend in Fiji. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Carol Lee’s streak continued, as she topped the Oceania Open Junior Championships 2018 last weekend at the Regional Tennis Centre Nadovu Park in Fiji.

Lee bagged the singles crown of the Grade 5 tournament last Friday for her third consecutive championships in ITF Juniors ranking tournaments and completed the sweep after winning the doubles title last Saturday.

In the singles, Lee, who ruled the 2018 Northern Marianas Junior Championships on Saipan in May and the South Pacific Open Junior Championships 2018 in Lautoka last month, defeated unranked Kanami Hayashige of Japan in the finals, 7-5, 6-4.

The No. 1 seed Lee took the singles crown without dropping a singles set in the 48-player draw. Earlier in the semifinals, the CNMI player labored through a 7-6 (4) triumph over No. 5 and China’s Jingyi Wang in the first set before cruising to a 6-0 victory in the second to march into the finals at the upper half of the draw.

In the lower half, Hayashige, who earlier eliminated two seeded opponents, caught another big fish in No. 12 and compatriot Manami Ukita, 6-3, 6-4, to set up a finals showdown against the top-ranked Lee. The Commonwealth player then ended the Japanese’s hopes for another upset after winning the title game in two sets.

In the doubles finals, Lee paired with Hong Kong’s Wing Ka Lin in downing Papua New Guinea’s Patricia Apisah and Australia’s Helena Spiridis, 6-4, 6-3.

Lee was also seeded first in the doubles and she and Lin drew a bye in the opening round before sweeping Hayashige and Konomi Miyakawa, 6-4, 6-0, to make it to the quarterfinals. In the Round of 8, the CNMI-Hong Kong pair also needed only two sets to oust Australia’s Komaki Ido and Jessica Zhu Stanmore, 6-4, 7-5. The Assuie marched into the quarterfinals following a tough 7-5, 6-7 (4), 10-8 win over New Zealand’s Ema Miyaura and Vivian Yang.

With two opponents down, Lee and Lin were next pitted against the Chinese duo of Wang and Jing Yan and the eventual champions extended their winning streak with a 6-4, 6-0 triumph over the No. 4 seed before capping the tournament with another straight set victory against Apisah and Spiridis.

Spiridis and Apisah moved into the doubles title game after pulling off a come-from-behind win over the unranked Minami Tani of Japan and Xiaouan Xue of China in the other Final Four pairing, 5-7 (4), 6-4, 10-3.

Meanwhile, in the boys division, India’s Mann Shah notched his second consecutive singles crown after sweeping Japan’s Gaku Moriya in the finals, 6-1, 6-2.

Shah, who late last month topped the South Pacific Open Junior Championships 2018, also played in the doubles finals with compatriot Aaryan Zaveri, but the No.1 seed pair was stunned by the unranked Bryce Robinson and Junyi Tang of Australia, 6-1, 4-6, 10-5.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for 16 years. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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