Lee fights off pain, enters semis in Fiji


The CNMI’s Carol Lee is still in contention in Fiji, advancing to the semifinals of the singles event in the 2016 Oceania Open Junior Championships yesterday. (Contributed Photo)

A hurting Carol Lee moved closer to her first ITF Juniors title as she notched a semis berth in the singles event of the 2016 Oceania Open Junior Championships yesterday in Fiji.

Lee swept Japan’s Yuna Ohashi, 6-1, 6-2, to barge into the Final Four where she will face a familiar foe in Australia’s Madison Bishop. The 14-year-old Lee played against the Land Down Under player in the Open Junior BNP PARIBAS de Nouvelle-Caledonie in Noumea, New Caledonia early this month and won in the semifinals, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1. Bishop arranged a rematch against Lee after pulling off a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory against Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi yesterday.

Lee soldiered on despite injuring her foot last Tuesday, according to her father—Dong Min.

“She hurt her feet last Tuesday and I told her if she feels the pain while walking she does not have to play. However, she wanted to continue playing. I also got a message from the official of her team and he told me Carol is getting better,” the elder Lee said in a telephone interview with Saipan Tribune yesterday.

Carol’s father added that her daughter and Palau’s Ayana Rengiil had to pull out from their quarterfinals game in the doubles yesterday. Lee and Rengiil were scheduled to face Australia’s Roopa Bains and Luciana Kunkel, who were awarded the victory and the semis ticket via walkover.

“Ayana had to withdraw from the game because she has too many injuries and the physiotherapist recommended she rest for two weeks,” Dong Min said.

Meanwhile, the top-ranked Kaitlin Staines of Australia and the U.S.’ Sara Tsukamoto completed the semis cast in the singles event.

Staines marched into the Final Four after easing past New Zealand’s Stella Cliffe, 6-3, 6-1, while Tsukamoto also needed only two sets to eliminate Japanese qualifier Marie Shindo, 7-5, 6-0.

In the doubles, it was only down to two teams with New Zealand’s Ivy McLean and Holly Stewart battling Staines and Hong Kong’s Claudia Ng. The Kiwis moved into the finals after ousting Bains and Kunkel, 6-4, 6-0, while Ng and Staines foiled an All-New Zealand title match following a 6-0, 6-4 triumph over Cliffe and Ashleight Harvey.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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