Girls make winning start in El Salvador
Bermuda's under-14 girls got their North, Central American and Caribbean pre-qualifier for the ITF World Junior Championships off to a winning start in El Salvador yesterday.
The team of Kaylah Ming, Imani Phillips and Kaila Harvey came from behind to defeat Panama 2-1 in their group D opener played in sweltering heat.
Number two player Harvey lost the opening singles match to Zulay Castaneda 6-2, 6-1.
But Ming, Bermuda's No 1 player, levelled the series after breezing to a convincing 6-1, 6-3 win over Maria Cossio in the second singles match.
Harvey and Ming then clinched the best-of-three series after prevailing over Aranza Benitez and Castaneda in the deciding doubles match 6-2, 6-7, 6-2.
However, the same could not be said for Bermuda's boys team, who slumped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Honduras in their group C opener.
The opening singles match pitting Trey Mallory against Fernando Aviles lasted more than three hours and was marred by a disputed call by the umpire in the third and deciding set.
“The umpire made a drastic mistake with the score 5-5 but Trey had actually won the match 6-4,” said Steve Bean, the Bermuda coach. “After much debate the score remained, which left Trey heartbroken, and his opponent took advantage of the situation.”
Mallory lost the contest 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.
Honduras then clinched the series after Moziah Selassi, Bermuda's No 1 player, lost 6-1, 6-0 to Carlos Gallardo in the remaining singles match.
Bermuda avoided being completely swept aside after Tego Bean and Selassi defeated Aviles and Sebastian Penagos 6-3, 6-4 in a tough doubles contest to salvage some pride.
The top girls' and boys' team in El Salvador will progress to the final North, Central American and Caribbean qualifying event to be held in Montreal in May.