08 May 2017

South American teams begin journey to World Junior Tennis Finals

News Article

Photo: Srdjan StevanovicArgentina Team

Peru is the favourite to reach this year’s Finals, as it has the top seeds in both the boys’ and girls’ competitions of the ITF World Junior Tennis South America Qualifying taking place this week in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Peru’s boys have been paired with No. 3 seed Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay in Group A of qualifying, while the girls’ side has been drawn with fourth-seeded Paraguay, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay.

The No. 2 seed in the boys’ competition is Brazil and it will face fourth seed Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia and Uruguay in Group B, while in the girls’ competition, Bolivia is the second-seeded nation and has been paired with No. 3 seed Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina and Venezuela.

Of all the players from South America who travelled to last year’s finals, only Ecuador’s Alvaro Gullen is looking to return for a second shot. Having been last year’s third player in a team which finished 15th, Gullen will lead the Ecuadorian charge this time around.

In last year’s finals, as the No. 5 seed, Argentina ended a five-year drought for the South American nations when it won the boys’ competition. Santiago de la Fuente led his nation to glory, as Argentina defeated China, P.R. in the final. Chile is the only other South American nation to have won the tournament, its triumph coming in 2010 when Christian Garin, now a key component of Chile’s Davis Cup side, was instrumental in the victory.

Historically, South America’s girls’ sides have fared poorly against their European and North American opposition in the finals. In fact, no South American side has so much as reached the final since the tournament began in 1991.