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Aruba dash Bermuda hopes

Go down fighting: Bermuda's team suffered a narrow defeat to Aruba

Bermuda went down fighting at the Junior Davis Cup in El Salvador yesterday.

The island’s team of Trey Mallory, Tariq Simons and Scott Redmond suffered their first defeat of the tournament after losing 2-1 against third seeds Aruba in a best-of-three quarter-final series that went down to the wire.

The two countries split the singles matches to set up a winner-takes-all doubles match, which Bermuda lost on a third set super tie-break.

Aruba’s Alexson Hessels and Frederick Sydow won the opening set 6-3 to take early control. But Bermuda showed great character to bounce back to win the second set 6-4 and send the match to a super tie-break.

However, Aruba proved to be too steep a mountain to climb for Bermuda who whose hopes of advancing to the semi-finals were dashed after losing the super tie-break 10-4.

“The boys did well but it’s kind of hard to swallow because they see now they had a legitimate chance of making it to the semi-finals,” Ricky Mallory, the Bermuda coach, said.

Bermuda were forced to chase the series after No 2 player Tariq Simons went down 7-5, 6-3 against Hessels in the opening singles match. But any thoughts Aruba might have had of quickly disposing their opponents were quashed after Bermuda’s No 1 player Mallory won the remaining singles match with Sydow 6-1, 7-5 to leave the series hanging in the balance.

Bermuda beat regional powerhouses Jamaica and Puerto Rico to win their group at the event for the first time. It is also the first time that Bermuda have reached the top half of the play-off round.