Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA)
Brazilian spirits remain high at the Grade A 29th Copa Gerdau after the host nation’s two title contenders in the boys’ and girls’ competitions, Thiago Monteiro and Laura Pigossi, both progressed to the quarter-finals in Porte Alegre on Thursday.
Monteiro, who is top seed and defending champion, stayed on course for back-to-back Copa Gerdau titles with a 63 62 win over Peruvian Daniel Santos to set up a last eight meeting with Mateo Nicolas Martinez of Argentina. In the other boys’ quarter-finals, another Argentinean, wildcard Pedro Cachin, will take on eighth seed Kimmer Coppejans (BEL); France’s Mathias Bourgue plays third seed Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy and second seed Kaichi Uchida (JPN) plays Juan Ignacio Galarza (ARG).
It was Pigossi, however, who caused the upset of the day when she knocked out top-seeded American girl Kyle McPhillips with 64 61 victory to set up an eagerly anticipated quarter-final meeting with Kazakhstan’s Anna Danilina. Danilina, seeded tenth to Pigossi’s thirteenth, also beat an American to earn her spot in the last eight when she defeated Denise Starr 64 64.
Pigossi was delighted with her win over McPhillips, an accomplished ITF Junior Circuit player. "I had nothing to lose, I went for my shots and it worked,” Pigossi told reporters. “In terms of Juniors this was my biggest win. It is important that women's tennis in Brazil is growing and getting better.”
Pigossi’s compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia also kept the home flag flying in the girls’ competition when she set up a quarter-final meeting with Montserrat Gonzalez of Paragauy. Haddad Maia, who is known as Bia to her friends, said she was happy with her progress but keen to keep her run going: “It is an honor to be among the last eight, but we always want more. If I can break through here it will be even better.”
In the other girls’ quarter-finals, Maria Ines Deheza of Bolivia takes on USA wildcard Tornado Alicia Black, who ensured an American presence in the latter stages of the girls’ tournament by upsetting seventh seed Marcela Zacarias (MEX). Ellen Allgurin of Sweden and Victoria Rodriguez of Mexico complete the quarter-final line-up.