Sean, Conatsu start bid in Margaret Court Cup


Conatsu Kaga returns a shot to sister Coume during their game in the 9th Annual TanHoldings Tennis Classic at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan. Conatsu and Sean Lee are in Australia and will play in the Margaret Court Cup today. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

CNMI junior players Sean Lee and Conatsu Kaga will debut in the Margaret Court Cup today at the Albury Grasscourts in New South Wales, Australia.

Lee will be playing in the qualifier for the boys U14 main draw this afternoon and has a tough opponent in No. 9 seed Dylan White. A win against the Australian will move Lee one victory away from clinching a spot in the 32-player main draw. Only the remaining eight players after the qualifier will make it to the main draw. If Lee prevails in today’s opener, his may collide with fellow Pacific Oceania player Chris Maasi of Tonga. Maasi will also compete today against Australia’s Nick Kleeman and the winner in their duel will face No. 11 Cameron Lin for a Round 3 berth.

Kaga was also scheduled to see action the qualifier, but gained one of the eight berths on the 32-player main draw when she drew a bye in the qualification round. Other lucky qualifiers were Callison Row, Julia Weston, Abbey Colbourne, and Augustine Gapinski, while Kaga’s Pacific Oceania teammates Penina Kamu of Samoa and Zorika Morgan of the Solomon Islands will have to win their respective matches today to move to the main draw.

Kamu is paired against Ellen Maria Freyens, while Morgan will challenge Chloe Dumaresq.

In the doubles, Kaga secured a spot to the main draw and will partner with Morgan. They will face Cameron Goss and Laura Peart in the opening match tomorrow, while Kamu is teaming up with Dumaresq in battling Freyens and Patsy Ryan-Betts in their first round game.

In the boys U14 doubles, Lee will join forces with Maasi and they will collide against Sam Park and Dylan Hubert Vaughan.

Lee and company are also entered in the team event in the Margaret Court Cup, representing Pacific Oceania Touring Team. They were sent to Australia through the support of the Oceania Tennis Federation and the ITF Grand Slam Development Fund.

After the Margaret Court Cup, which will run until Jan. 9, the touring squad will head to Victoria for next week’s 2018 Victorian Junior Championships in Wodonga. After the completion of the two tournaments, the group will return to Melbourne to watch a couple of games in the Australian Open.

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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