A determined Grace Yang helped the United States reach the final
Photo By: Thorsten Gohl
2016 PANAM Junior Championships (Click here to access this section)
The top two seeds, Brazil and the United States, duly progressed to the final of the Girls’ Team event at the 2016 Panam Junior Championships in Burnaby, Canada by emerging successful on Wednesday 29th June.
Both now qualify to compete in the 2016 World Junior Championships to be staged later this year in Cape Town, South Africa.
A direct entry the semi-final stage as a result of concluding their phase fixtures in top place in their respective groups, each outfit gave commanding performances to reserve their place in the final.
Brazil accounted for Canada ‘A’, the no.4 seeds, by three matches to one with Bruna Takahashi the mainstay of the success.
She accounted for Alicia Cote (11-7, 11-5, 11-9) and Ivy Liao (11-7, 11-4, 11-2); Alexia Nakashima added the one further win by overcoming Justina Yeung (11-3, 11-9, 11-3), whilst for Canada, the one success was secured in the second match of the contest when Ivy Liao accounted for Leticia Nakada (11-9, 7-11, 11-3, 11-5).
Success against Canada ‘A’ was a most creditable performance; at the quarter-final stage they had caused a minor surprise by beating Puerto Rico, the no.3 seeds.
Adriana Diaz beat Alicia Cote (11-3, 13-11, 11-9) and Ivy Liao (11-7, 11-6, 11-1) but that was to be the sum total of the Caribbean island’s success.
Lineris Rivera was beaten by Ivy Liao (11-4, 16-14, 11-6) and in the vital fifth and concluding match of the fixture by Alicia Cote (11-7, 11-2, 15-13); the one further success for the host nation was recorded by Justina Yeung. In the third match of the fixture she accounted for Gabriela Diaz (11-5, 14-12, 13-11).
Accustomed to Style
“I was nervous at the beginning and we really want to qualify for the World Junior Championships; I was used to the style of Lineris”, said Alicia Cote. “I played her before, I was confident I could beat her.”
In the opening round of the Girls’ Singles event, Alicia Cote had beaten Lineris Rivera in seven games (11-3, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-1, 11-4). Lineris Rivera like Gabriela Diaz uses long pimpled rubber on the backhand; the shortcomings of adopting such a style were made clear against the Canadians.
Success for Alicia Cote against Lineris Rivera, against Adriana Diaz it was for the aspiring Canadian a much different experience.
“It was intimidating”, sighed Alicia Cote. “Her serves are so good!”
Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw the United States took no prisoners when facing Peru, the no.5 seeds, a three matches to nil win was recorded.
Crystal Wang beat Micaela Regaira (11-8, 11-5, 11-7), Angela Guan defeated Janina Nieto (9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6), before Grace Yang brought matters to a conclusion by overcoming Valeria Cuba (11-7, 11-9, 11-5).
Earlier Peruvians in Form
An impressive win for the United States, one round earlier it had been equally impressive from Peru against Argentina, the no.6 seeds; a three matches to nil win had been posted.
Micaela Regaira beat Camila Kaizoji (11-7, 11-3, 12-10), Jania Nieto overcame Ana Zapatero (11-6, 11-5, 11-6), before Valeria Cuba concluded matters by overcoming Candela Perez (11-8, 3-11, 12-10, 11-8).
Two teams who will compete in the 2016 World Junior Championships; two are yet to be decided.
On the concluding day of play, Thursday 30th June, in addition to the final between Brazil and the United States; the losing quarter-finalists in the top half of the draw will play the losing semi-finalists in the lower half and vice versa.
The winners of each fixture will complete the teams qualified for the 2016 World Junior Championships.
Thus Canada ‘A’ will play Argentina; Puerto Rico will confront Peru.
Day Five: Boys’ Team and Girls’ Team events advance to semi-finals
Photos by Christian Martinez – RGB Studios