The CNMI’s Conatsu Kaga and Sean Lee continued their impressive showing in the Vanuatu Junior Regional Championship 2018.
Both are now in the finals with Kaga marching into the title game in the girls U16 singles and Lee moving into the championship match in the boys U16 doubles (with Fiji’s Charles Cornish) yesterday at the Korman Tennis Centre in Port Vila.
The No. 2 seed Kaga made it to the finals after sweeping Japan’s Rioko Umekuni in their Final Four tiff. The Commonwealth bet eked out a 7-6 win in the opener and then completed the straight set victory with an easier 6-1 triumph. Next up for Kaga is the No. 1 seed Rosalie Molbaleh, as the Vanuatu player won the other semis pairing after eliminating Tahiti’s Vaiani Dussere-Valleaux, 6-4, 7-6.
Kaga and Molbaleh will dispute the girls U16 singles division crown tomorrow. Both players will enter the title game undefeated after five matches, as Kaga and Molbaleh swept their pool play assignments before dispatching their respective semis opponents.
After the singles semis match, Kaga took only a short breather and returned to the court for the doubles game. Fatigue eventually took its toll on Kaga and the Solomon Islands’ Prudence Bird as they lost to Dussere-Valleaux and Umekuni in the semifinals. The eventual finalists won the first set 4-3, and got the free victory in the second when Kaga and Bird retired.
Meanwhile, in the boys U16 doubles, Lee and Cornish eased their way to the title match after demolishing Fiji’s Lixin Chen and Jin Park in the semis, 4-0, 4-0. Lee and Cornish will vie for the division championship against No. 1 seed and Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy and Zachary Sands, who also blanked the Norfork Islands’ Sam Cribb and Fiji’s Yong Park in the other semis pairing.
The Final Four win in the doubles made up for Lee’s defeat in the earlier singles semis. Molbaleh beat Lee, 6-1, 6-2, to set up an all-Vanuatu finale, as the former’s compatriot prevailed over Noah Molbaleh in the other semis match, 6-1, 6-1.