The CNMI’s Carol Lee made a statement game against the Philippines, powering Pacific Oceania to a 3-0 victory in the opening of the 2017 Junior Fed Cup Asia Oceania Pre-Qualifying Zone last Monday in New Delhi, India.
Lee demolished the Philippines’ Gennifer Lysandra Pagente in the Singles 1 play, 6-0, 6-0, earning the lopsided win after only 35 minutes. The highest-ranked ranked junior player in the Pacific then played in the lone doubles match, partnering with Samoa’s Eleanor Schuster in blanking Pagente and Carlyn Bless Guarde in the first set before completing the sweep with a 6-2 victory in the second. Lee and Schuster finished off their the Filipino foes in less than an hour. Earlier in the Singles 2 play, Tahiti’s Naia Guitton also needed only two sets to beat Mikaela Vicencio, 6-2, 6-0.
With the sweep, Pacific Oceania wrapped up Day 1 of the pre-qualifier on top of Group A. Vietnam is in second with its 2-1 record after downing Tajikistan in the other pairing.
Action in the qualifier continued yesterday with Lee and company scheduled to meet Tajikistan. Pacific Oceania will then close pool play today when it takes on Vietnam. Only the Top 2 teams in each group after the pool play will advance to the playoffs. Group B has Sri Lanka and Singapore, which also recorded sweeps in the opening day, as well as Lebanon and Iraq. The finalists in the pre-qualifier will advance to the 2017 Junior Fed Cup Asia Oceania Final Qualifying Zone, which will also be held in India in April, while the Top 3 finishers in the qualifier will earn slots to the world event.
Meanwhile, the CNMI’s Robbie Schorr debuted in the Junior Davis Cup last Monday and played against Vietnam in Group B. He teamed up with Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy and they lost to Van Phuong Nguyen and Duc Phu Pham, 1-6, 3-6.
Mainguy earlier handed Pacific Oceania a victory in Singles 2 after outlasting Hoang Hung Vo, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-3. In the Singles 1, Nguyen topped Tahiti’s Jeremy Guines, 6-1, 6-3, for Vietnam’s 2-1 triumph. Joining Vietnam and Pacific Oceania in Group B is Jordan.
There are four groups in the pre-qualifying and the Top 2 in each pool will move into the playoffs. Only the two remaining teams in the playoffs will then march into the final qualifying to compete against 12 early qualifiers from Asia, New Zealand, and Australia.
Group A has the Philippines, Bhutan, and Iraq; Group C has Singapore, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Tajikistan; and Group D has Lebanon, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, and Saudi Arabia.