Sean, Conatsu survive doubles opener

Sean Lee reaches in to return a low ball during a training session with sister Carol last month at the Kanoa Resort courts. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The CNMI’s Sean Lee and Conatsu Kaga are playing in their second tournament in Australia and prevailed in their opening doubles match in the Victorian Grass Court Championships at the Wodonga Tennis Centre.

Kaga was paired anew with the Solomon Islands’ Sorika Morgan and they swept Victoria’s Abbey Mcphee and Northern Territory’s Patsy Pamela Ryan Betts in the first round of the girls U14 doubles event yesterday, 6-1, 6-3. With their victory, the Pacific Oceania Touring Team players advanced to the quarterfinals and will be pitted against No. 2 seed Chloe Anne Brereton and Grace Foundation of Victoria. The Aussies made it to the Round of 8 automatically after drawing a bye in the first round.

Kaga and Morgan’s fellow Pacific Oceania player, Penina Kamu of Samoa, is also in the quarterfinals as the latter and Victoria’s Tessa Quinlan downed New South Wales’ Mikelli Garratt and Australian Capital Territory’s Elisa Wise, 6-3, 6-3, in Round 1.

In the boys U14 doubles, Lee and his partner Chris Maasi of Tonga, made it to Round 2 after sweeping Northern Territory’s Jack James and William Kelaart in their opening match last Monday, 6-3, 6-1. Lee and Maasi were scheduled to duel No. 8 seed Mitchelle Ayton and Nicholas George Miloi of Victoria yesterday for a spot to the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, Lee and Kaga also played in the U14 singles, but faltered in their first match.

Lee had to go through the 32-player qualifying tournament for one of the eight slots in the main draw. He challenged No. 3 Nicholas Bisa and lost in the opening round of the qualifier, 1-6, 6-2. Lee was then relegated to the consolation draw and this time topped Liam Ragas Judd, 6-4, 6-2. Up next for the CNMI player will be No. 11 seed Jacob Collison, who fell to Dylan Vaughan in the battle for one of the spots in the main draw.

In the girls U14 singles, Kaga was entered in the main draw, but bowed to No. 8 seed Jennifer McDonald in the first round, 3-6, 3-6.

Kaga and Lee, before playing in Victoria, saw action in the Margaret Court Cup in New South Wales. Once they completed their second and last tournament this week, they will head back to Melbourne to watch the Australian Open and then return to Saipan on Jan. 17.

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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