Woo survives marathon


Ji Min Woo, seen here getting ready for a return in a local tournament, is in Melbourne playing in the 2018 14/U Australian Championships December Showdown. (Contributed Photo)

CNMI junior player Jimin Woo came out victorious in a more than three-hour match in the 2018 14/U Australian Championships December Showdown last Monday at the Melbourne Park in Victoria.

Woo bagged his first win in the December Showdown after outlasting Gareth Ong, 3-6, 7-5, 10-8. The super-tiebreaker match ended after three hours and 19 minutes, moving Woo to the quarterfinals of the south draw. The victory was also the first one registered by a Pacific Oceania Team player, according to Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association official Jeff Race, who added that Woo achieved his target of making it to the win column of the event.

“Jimin’s goal was not to be shut out this year in Australia’s national championship event,” Race told Saipan Tribune yesterday.

Before surviving Ong, Woo was pitted against Brian Capalnean in the main draw with the Australian winning, 6-1. 6-1. Up next for the CNMI bet was Andrew Filep and the latter prevailed in last Sunday’s game. 6-0, 6-3. For this third game, Woo seemed headed for another defeat when Ong took the first set. However, the Commonwealth junior player showed poise in the closely fought second set to escape with the win and extend the match. Woo then rode on the momentum of his second set victory to complete the comeback in the deciding super-tiebreaker third set.

After the lung-busting triumph, the 14-year-old was scheduled to challenge Diegop Quispe-Kim in the quarterfinals yesterday. Woo also played in the doubles, but he and Tahiti’s Manovai Elie bowed to Nathan Lim and James Newton, 5-7, 2-6.

The individual event in the December Showdown will conclude tomorrow and once it’s done, Woo along with Elie and Meheannu Larson, also from Tahiti, will see action in the team event of the 2018 14/U Australian Championships. The team competition will run from Dec. 7 to 12.

Lee competes in Orange Bowl
Meanwhile, another CNMI play, Carol Lee, is also off-island to represent the Commonwealth in the prestigious Orange Bowl.

Lee is in the main draw of the ITF Juniors Circuit clay court event and is set to challenge wildcard Ali Despain of the U.S. in the first round today at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center at the Plantation Central Park in Florida. Lee will also compete in the doubles event of the Grade A tournament with Cyprus’ Eleni Louka and they will be pitted against the American pair of Alexa Noel and Nikki Redelijk.

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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