ITF Tennis Junior Davis Cup
As for drama, there was none, but the US got what it came for, securing spots in the world finals of the 16-and-under and 14-and-under team competitions on a picture-perfect spring day in South Florida.
The four US teams have won all eight of the their matches by 3-0 scores, with only one set lost over the first two days. Three of the four teams will take on their Canadian counterparts in Saturday's final day of competition, with nothing more, or less, than national bragging rights on the line.
In the girls 14s World Junior Tennis qualifying, the US and Canada played on day one Thursday, so technically there is still a chance one of those two teams will not qualify, but given the results so far, that scenario appears unlikely. Canada will need to defeat Mexico to finish 2-1, and the US will be heavily favored to down Guatemala, currently 1-1, to finish 3-0. In today's 3-0 win over Mexico, Hurricane Tyra Black defeated Daira Cardenas 6-0, 6-2, and Caty McNally secured the win with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Aida Garcia Mendez at No. 1 singles. Amanda Anisimova and McNally won the dead rubber in doubles 6-1, 6-0.
Brandon Nakashima earned the first point for the US boys in the 14s, beating Oscar Barranca 6-1, 6-1 and Adam Neff clinched their place in the Czech Republic competition in August with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Eduardo Molina. Govind Nanda and Nakashima won the doubles 6-0, 6-0.
The Mexican teams were more competitive in the Junior Davis and Junior Fed Cup contests with the USA. Gianni Ross started out with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Alejandro Hernandez Serrano that was not as lopsided as the score, and Sam Riffice, who did not play singles on Thursday, was pushed in the second set by Alan Rubio before taking a 6-1, 6-4 victory. Riffice and Vasil Kirkov won the doubles against Serrano and Rubio 6-2, 6-1.
In the only truly tense match of the day, Denis Shapovalov clinched Canada's Junior Davis Cup spot in Madrid this September with a 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-1 win over Patrick Sydow of Aruba. With Shapovalov's victory, all the matches were decided prior to the doubles competition.
In Junior Fed Cup play, Kayla Day lost the plot a bit in the second set, but recovered for a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Katia De La Garza of Mexico. CiCi Bellis had breezed on Thursday, but she got the match play she was looking for today in her 6-1, 6-2 win over Maria Jose Portillo. Bellis and Michaela Gordon dropped the only set the US has lost the past two days to open the doubles match, but recovered to beat Portillo and Mixcoatl Trabulse 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Canada's Junior Fed Cup team got wins from Vanessa Wong, who beat Laura Quezada of the Dominican Republic 6-0, 6-1 and Katherine Sebov, who topped Penelope Abreu 6-2, 6-2 to earn their place among the 16 teams in Madrid.
Last year, with host Mexico getting an automatic bid, the other three Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup teams were playing for just one spot, and the US, playing qualifying in Canada, won them both. This year, the Europe qualifying will result in one less European team earning a place, with Spain hosting, so the pressure is off in the final matches Saturday here in Boca, but US Junior Fed Cup coach Adam Peterson believes his players competitive instincts will take over.
You might also like
Le Petit Tennis 18 - foot Portable Tennis Net Blue Color (Official Size for Usta Junior Under 10 Competition)
Sports (Le Petit Tennis)