The CNMI’s Carol Lee took only two sets to win her opening round match in the Oceania Closed Junior Championships 2018 yesterday in Fiji.
The No. 4 seed Lee swept the unranked Ema Miyaura of New Zealand, 6-4, 6-4, to move into the second round of the 32-player singles draw. In Round 2, the 16-year-old will be up against Australia’s Roopa Bains, who also needed only two sets to win her opener against New Zealand’s Vivian Yang, 7-5, 6-0.
Lee is the lone Commonwealth bet and only the second Pacific Oceania player to make it to the next round, as compatriot Conatsu Kaga, Robbie Schorr, Ken Song, and her brother Sean, bowed out of competition yesterday.
Kaga was eliminated by No. 5 seed Grace Schumacher, as the Australian eased her way to a 6-0, 6-2 win at the upper half of the draw.
Eleanor Schuster was the other Pacific Oceania player to survive the first round, as the Samoa representative eked out a 6-3, 7-6 (6) triumph over Australia’s Maggie Pearce. Schuster’s next opponent will be No. 1 seed and New Zealand’s Valentina Ivanov, who topped Australia’s Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz, 6-4, 6-2.
New Caledonia’s Jeylani Ipunesso, Fiji’s Saoirse Breen and Ruby Coffin, Vanuatu’s Rosale Malbaleh, and the Solomon Islands’ Zorika Morgan joined Kaga in the showers of the girls singles field after bowing to their respective Australian opponents.
Morgan was defeated by Anastasia Berezov, 6-2, 6-0; Ciara Di Tommaso beat Molbaleh, 6-1, 6-3; No. 2 seed Megan Smith ousted Coffin, 6-1, 6-1; and Amber Marshall eliminated Ipunesso, 7-5, 6-1.
In the boys singles division, Schorr, Song, and Sean were shut down by Australia’s Alex Bulte, No. 3 Ken Cavrak, and No. 4 Stefan Storch, respectively. No Pacific Oceania male player survived the opening round with Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy and Marlin Hannam, American Samoa’s Larry Magalasin, and Tahiti’s Jeremy Guines also dropping their first round matches.
Meanwhile, in the boys doubles event, Song will be paired with Lee and incidentally, they will meet Guines and Schorr in the opening round today.
In the women’s doubles, Carol has Di Tommaso as her partner and the No. 3 seed duo will take on the Kiwi pair of Miyaura and Jade Otway with the quarterfinals slot up for grabs in today’s game. Kaga, on the other hand, will team up with Ipunesso and they will challenge Australia’s Lara Walker and Bains with the winner likely to duel the No. 2 seed pair of Schumacher and Megan Smith, who will square off against the unranked Yang and Mia Repac.