Lee sweeps New Zealand foe



The CNMI’s Carol Lee started her bid in the 2016 Oceania Open Junior Championships with a straight set win against her New Zealand opponent yesterday in Fiji.

Lee blanked Holly Stewart in the opening set, 6-0, and completed the sweep with another easy win in the second, 6-2, to barge into the Round of 16 of the ITF Junior ranking tournament. With her victory, the fourth-seeded Lee set up a third round tiff against the No. 14-ranked Yuna Ukita of Japan.

The Japanese gained a Round of 16 slot at the bottom half of the bracket after eliminating Hong Kong’s Skylar Wan, 6-0, 7-5. Joining Lee and Ukita to the next round of the lower half of the draw were Japan’s Hiroka Furuya, Yuna Ohashi, Misaki Kobayashi, Hong Kong’s Claudia Ng, New Zealand’s Janvhi Clark, and Australia’s Madison Bishop.

An all-Japanese third round tiff was arranged after Furuya and Ohashi prevailed against Singapore’s Ashley Yim, 6-2, 6-1, and New Zealand’s Ashleigh Harvey, 6-3, 6-4. Bishop and Clark also took only two sets to set up their Round of 16 collision as the former topped the Solomon Island’s Georjemah Row, 6-1, 6-1, and the Kiwi bet triumphed over Tahiti’s Naia Guitton, 6-1, 6-2.

Claudia Ng, on the other hand, needed three sets to knock off Australia’s Sophia Fry, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) and arrange a meeting with Kobayashi, who eased past China’s Jing Jing Yang, 6-1, 6-1.

Meanwhile, at the top half of the bracket, the Round of 16 qualifiers were Japan’s Akane Koizumi and Marie Shindo, Hong Kong’s Wing Sze Yu and Justine Sophia Leong, the U.S.’ Sara Tsukamoto, New Zealand’s Stella Cliffe, Palau’s Ayana Rengiil, and Australia’s Kaitlin Staines.

The top-ranked Staines won over Fiji’s Kumar Fong, 6-3, 6-0, to set up a third round tiff against Leong, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Japan’s Koharu Nimi. Rengiil pulled off a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 triumph against Japan’s Yoshika Furuya for a Round of 16 date against Cliffe, who defeated Japan’s Kaede Tada, 6-3, 7-6 (3). Tada earlier ousted the CNMI’s Tania Tan in the first round, 6-0, 6-3.

Another Commonwealth bet—Isabel Heras—bowed to Luciana Kunkel, 6-3, 1-6, 3-6, but the latter was beaten by Yu, 6-3, 6-0. Yu is paired against Tsukamoto, who swept Japan’s Shiho Shibata, 6-2, 6-2. The remaining Round of 16 pairing will have Koizumi battling Shindo.

Meanwhile, in the doubles competition, Lee is again paired with Rengiil and they drew a bye in the opening round. The second-ranked duo will have its first match today against Australia’s Mia Savio and Yang.

Heras will team up with the U.S’ Bryn Johnson and they will challenge Japan’s Sachiho Sho and Kaede Tada, while Tan is joining forces with Singapore’s Julia Barden and they are pitted against another Japanese pair in Ohashi and Ukita.

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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