Carol switches tennis allegiance to US



The CNMI will not be having Carol Lee in this year’s Micronesian Games in Majuro and the Pacific Games in Honiara after arguably the best women’s tennis player the islands has ever produced opted to switch her tennis allegiance from the CNMI to the U.S.

“My head coach told me that I could get higher potential opportunities to get accepted into wild cards for ITF tournaments if I switched my flag to the U.S.,” Lee told Saipan Tribune about her decision to switch allegiance to the U.S.

The  current No. 7 women’s singles player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s individual rankings said that she will continue to represent the CNMI in spirit.

“In my heart I’m still representing CNMI and I always will but as of now, with an idea of getting more opportunities for my tennis career in the future, my flag would be the U.S.”

Lee said she just wants to maximize her tennis opportunities and believes donning the U.S. flag is the best path for now.

“I still can represent the CNMI and I don’t have an official plan of what I would do yet after college, but I would like to try out playing pro. I can switch it back to my [original] flag if it doesn’t help me with tennis potential,” said the 21-year-old from Georgia Tech.

CNMI national tennis coach Jeff Race laments Lee’s decision to switch allegiances, saying that it will deprive the CNMI of an automatic four gold medals in both the Pacific Games and Micronesian Games (gold medal in women’s singles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles, and women’s team).  

“If she had played in the Games (both Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands and Micronesian Games in the Marshall Islands) personally I am quite sure we would have won every gold medal…[do you think] she and Colin would lose? If she thinks she will get more wildcards then go for it. Anyway I wish her the best of luck,” he said.

Georgia Tech women’s tennis coach Rodney Harmon, meanwhile, said Lee has a bright future in the sport of tennis.

“Carol has a very high ceiling as she is very athletic, committed to being the best player she can be, and is a fierce competitor.  Her improvement since she came to Georgia Tech has been incredible. She is extremely hardworking and is a joy to coach,” he said.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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