The CNMI’s Conatsu Kaga is still in the race for the girls U14 doubles crown in the Margaret Court Cup after winning her opening match last Saturday at the Albury Grasscourts in New South Wales, Australia.
Kaga and her partner, Zorika Morgan of the Solomon Islands, were paired against Australia’s Camron Goss and Laura Peart and needed only two sets to advance to the next round, 4-2, 4-2. The Pacific Oceania Touring Team players are at the bottom half of the draw and after winning their first match they will challenge the No. 4 seed tandem of Sharika Nemelipu and Celina Yang, also of Australia.
Nemelipuri and Yang eased past compatriots Saskia Kozloe and Callison Row in the first set, 4-1, before eking out a 5-3 victory in the second to make it to the quarterfinals. Other quarterfinalists at the lower half of the draw were Australia’s Chloe Dumaresq and Penina Kamu of Samoa, and No. 2 seed Aussies Kelly Bishop and Isabella Markovski.
At the top half of the field, only two seeded pairs survived the second round with No. 1 Zali Morrsia and Alyssa Simoncini and No. 3 Mystique Maljanek and Maja Svalina moving forward. Rounding out the quarterfinals cast were the unranked tandems of Tara Aksentijevic and Shaylee Jayde Martin and Erin Lawless and Chelsea Mcgrath.
In the girls U14 singles, Kaga also won her first match after sweeping Yang last Friday, 6-3, 6-1. However, Kaga met a tougher opponent in Round 2 in the No. 1 seed Simoncini, who outclassed the Commonwealth player, 6-2, 6-1. With the loss, Kaga was relegated to the consolation draw and has to wait for the results of the remaining matches to know her next foe.
Meanwhile, Kaga’s fellow CNMI player Sean Lee, prevailed in his debut in the Margaret Court Cup.
Sean Lean played in the qualifier for the boys U14 singles main draw and stunned No. 9 seed Dylan White, 6-4, 7-5. Next up for Lee was another seeded player in No. 11 Cameron Linn and the Australian denied the former entry to the main draw after cruising to a 6-0, 6-4 triumph. Before sweeping Lee, Linn came from a hard-earned 4-6, 6-2, 10-2 victory against Lee’s fellow Pacific Oceania player Chris Maasi of Tonga.
Maasi and Lee then teamed up in the doubles and lost to Sam Park and Dylan Huberth Vaughan. The Aussie pair won in the first set, 4-2, and labored for a 5-4 (4) victory in the second.
The Margaret Court Cup is only Lee and company’s first stop in the Land Down Under, as later this week they will go to Wodonga for the 2018 Victorian Junior Championships.