Photo: Audrey BoyleFrancis Tiafoe (USA)
Reigning Junior Fed Cup champions USA made a strong start to the North/Central America and Caribbean Final Qualifying event in Montreal after seeing off Mexico without dropping so much as a set.
Nicole Frenkel starred for USA, defeating Ana Luisa Perez Lopez 62 62 in the opening rubber before teaming with Jessica Ho to defeat Mexico'[s Perez Lopez and Estania Fuentes in the doubles tie after Katerina Stewart had put the tie beyond doubt with victory in the second rubber.
The triumph sees USA take a strong first stride in its attempt to qualify for the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals, while the defeat matters little to Mexico, who as host, has a guaranteed free pass into the event in San Luis Potosi, Mexico on 24-29 September.
Canada and Cuba are the other two teams bidding to win just one spot into the Junior Fed Cup Finals, with the hosts also storming to a 3-0 lead on the opening day of the competition on Thursday.
Three other North/Central American & Caribbean region events are taking place in Montreal from 2-4 May, with the Final Qualifying for the Junior Davis Cup and World Junior Tennis events also underway.
In the Junior Davis Cup event, USA ground out a hard-fought win over Canada to get its campaign underway. Raheel Manji put up a stern fight for the hosts, eventually falling to USA’s Francis Tiafoe (pictured) 46 76(4) 62 in an opening rubber battle lasting two hours 13 minutes.
Alejandro Tabilo levelled for Canada with a straight sets win against Stefan Kozlov, who hit back alongside Henrik Wiersholm to defeat Tabilo and Manji 61 46 62 and seal a narrow triumph for USA.
Mexico achieved the most convincing win of the four teams, defeating Dominican Republic 3-0 but, like its Junior Fed Cup team, has already qualified for the Junior Davis Cup Finals as host, with either USA or Canada looking the most likely to join them.
USA and Canada were also the nation’s to watch in the World Junior Tennis competition on day one, with both countries seeing its boys’ and girls’ and boys’ teams enjoy 3-0 wins. There’s an extra qualification spot up for grabs in the Under 14s event, with the top two teams from each boys’ and girls’ round robin groups qualifying for the World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov, Czech Republic on 5-10 August.
Guatemala and Mexico are the other two teams bidding for qualification in each of the boys’ and girls’ events, but there is much work to be done after their teams were comprehensively beaten on Thursday.
For a complete breakdown of all the results, click here: