The CNMI’s Carol Lee got off to a strong start in the Osaka Mayor’s Cup-World Super Junior Tennis Championships 2019 yesterday at the Utsubo Tennis Center.
Lee, who is at the bottom half of the 64-player draw, was pitted against Great Britain’s Amami Banks in the first round and prevailed in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. Banks is ranked No. 137 in the world, seven notches higher than Lee (No. 130). The 16-year-old Briton holds a career record of 52-39 in singles and is 19-16 this year. The 17-year-old Lee, on the other hand, owns a 110-50 career mark and has a 20-10 slate in her last year under the ITF Juniors World Tour.
The victory over Banks may bring Lee to an early collision with tournament No. 2 seed and Japanese Natsumi Kawaguchi, who was slated to face American Jennifer Kida in the first round yesterday.
Lee came to Osaka from Seoul, South Korea, joining one of the prestigious tournaments in Japan, as the event features several players who are ranked in the Top 200 in the world. France’s Diane Parry is the highest-ranked player in the girls singles at No. 7.
The World Super Junior is a Grade A tournament, which awards 500 world ranking points to the singles champion and 375 to the doubles winners. The finalists, semifinalists, quarterfinalists, Round of 16, and Round of 32 qualifiers will receive 300, 185, 100, 50, and 20 ranking points, respectively.
The Commonwealth bet is playing in the Grade A tournament after coming off a semis stint in the 100th Korean National Sports Festival where she won her first three matches before bowing to two-time high school division champion Cherry Kim in the Final Four.
Meanwhile, Lee will also see action in the doubles event of the World Super Junior. She is teaming up with Skyler Marie Grace Grishhuk of the U.S. and the unseeded pair is scheduled to duel No. 8 seed Nastasia Mariana Schunk and Diana Shnaider of Russia in the opening round today.
After the competition in Japan, she will return to Korea for a pair of world-ranking events. Lee will play in the Chuncheon Songam Sports Town Tennis Courts in Songam-dong Chuncheon-si from Oct. 28 to Nov. 3 and the 2010 Seogwipo Asia/Oceania Closed Junior Championships in Jeju-do set for Nov. 4 to 10.