The CNMI’s Carol Lee went up to the ladder after receiving ITF Juniors world ranking points from one of her two tournaments in New Zealand.
The 14-year-old Commonwealth player is now ranked at No. 470, moving more than 20 notches up after participating in the Auckland ITF Indoor Championships 2016 from Sept. 27 to Oct. 2 at the Scarbro Tennis Centre in Auckland. She left Saipan for the two Grade 5 competitions late last month and was then ranked No. 499 in the world.
She went on to improve her rankings after advancing to the semifinals of the singles and doubles event of the Auckland tournament. In the singles event, Lee was awarded 15 points for making it to the Final Four. The CNMI’s No. 1 girls U18 player had a 3-1 record in the singles division, beating New Zealand’s Amelia Lawson, 6-3, 6-1, Australia’s Kirijana Petreski, 6-0, 6-1, and New Zealand’s Oleksandra Kalachova, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6, before bowing to Ashleigh Harvey in the semis, 1-6, 0-6.
In the doubles, Lee and her partner Ayana Rengiil of Palau were given 10 points each for barging into the Final Four round. The two Pacific Oceania player won their first two games against New Zealand’s Amily Suga and Australia’s Angelina Esabella Teakaraanga, 6-0, 7-5; and siblings Paige and Lauren Alter of New Zealand, 3-6, 6-3, 10-4, before missing a finals stint after losing to Kiwis’ Harvey and Janvhi Clark, 3-6, 2-6 in the semis.
Counting the results in her singles and doubles games in Auckland, Lee as of Oct. 3 has posted 19-8 (singles) and 9-7 (doubles) records this year and 27-15 career singles mark and 13-14 in doubles. She also has 105 singles ranking points and 50 in doubles for 117.5 combined points.
The CNMI junior player is expected to gain more ranking points and climb up to the world rankings as results of her second tournament in Zealand have yet to be counted. Lee made it to the quarterfinals of the singles event in the ITF Waikato-Bays Under 18s Championships and marched into the semis in the doubles contest.
The second-seeded Lee and Rengiil eliminated Japan’s Sophie Yamada and New Zealand’s Sophie Michl, 6-1, 6-0, to gain a semis berth and challenge No. 5 seeds Chiara Di Tommaso and Ivana Popovic of Australia. The Aussies won the Final Four game last Friday, 6-2, 6-1, denying Lee and Rengiil a finals entry.