Schorr, Lee make elite team


The CNMI’s Robbie Schorr returns to Tony Kim during their boys U14 singles game in the 2016 North Pacific Regional Championships at the Pacific Islands Club courts. (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI’s Robbie Schorr and Carol Lee earned slots on the Pacific Oceania Team that will compete in the 2017 Asia Oceania Pre Qualifying Zone of Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup in New Delhi, India next week.

Schorr will play in the Junior Davis Cup for the first Pacific Oceania Team entered in the annual tournament. Lee, on the other hand, is on her second tour of duty with the Pacific Oceania Team that will be seeing action in the Junior Fed Cup after debuting in the same competition last year.

“I am deeply honored to be selected on the team. I am very excited to play and will do my very best in every game,” Schorr said in a telephone interview with Saipan Tribune yesterday before he played a scrimmage against former CNMI National Team member Bobby Cruz at the Pacific Islands Club court.

“It’s a great opportunity to play against the top junior players in Asia,” the 14-year-old player added.

Schorr will team up with one player each from Vanuatu and Tahiti and the Pacific Oceania bets will join the representatives of the 15 other participating countries in the Feb. 20-25 tournament. The Top 2 teams in the qualifier will join 12 Asian countries, Australia, and New Zealand in the Final Qualifying that will also be held in India next month.

Schorr got a slot on the squad for his impressive showing in the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in the last few years and for dominating his age group in the CNMI tournaments and the North Pacific Regional Championships.

“The hard work he has put in during the tournaments in Fiji (POJC) in the last four years has been noticed by the people from ITF, which is sponsoring the team to the Junior Davis Cup. I am proud that he has shown a lot of improvement in the last four years and despite his busy schedule playing tennis here and outside Saipan, he has maintained high grades and is keeping up with his school work,” said Robbie’s father, Robert, who also thanked Saipan International School for its understanding and allowing his son to compete in off-island tournaments.

In New Delhi, CNMI Junior National team coach Jeff Race said Schorr should expect a high-level competition from Asian players.

“It will be a great experience for him to play against these high-level teams. I’ am very excited for him. It’s nice to put in your resume that you had once played in the Junior Davis Cup,” Race said.

As for Lee, Race said it’s another feather in the former’s cap, as she has been competing and doing well in a lot of off-island tournaments since 2015.

When she debuted in the 2016 Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying, which also took place in India, Lee gave Pacific Oceania its lone win against Southeast Asia powerhouse Thailand. The Commonwealth player swept Watsachol Sawatdee in the second singles match, 6-4, 6-4. Lee and company also dueled Australia in the final qualifying and scared then world No. 46 Baijing Lin by winning the first set, 6-2, and giving the Aussie a tough time in the second before losing, 5-7. Lin eventually escaped the upset axe of Lee after prevailing in the deciding set, 6-1.

Lee is currently in Fiji, working out at the ITF/OTF Regional Training Center in Lautoka.

“It’s an honor to be selected on the team again. I’m really eager to compete in New Delhi and represent Pacific Oceania,” said Lee, who spent the first two months of the year competing in three ITF Juniors world ranking tournaments in New Zealand.

Lee, as of Feb. 13, is ranked No. 347 in the world and achieved her best ranking at No. 341 last Feb. 6 after making it to the semifinals of the singles event in the 2017 Tecnifibre Tennis Central Championships in Wellington and advancing to the quarterfinals of the singles contest in the NZ ITF Summer Championships 2017 in Auckland.

Lee will leave Fiji for New Delhi today, while Schorr will head out of Saipan tomorrow.

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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