Photo: Rowland Charles GoodmanJorge Brian Panta Herreros (PER)
The 30th Copa Gerdau in Porto Alegre, Brazil is set for a busy day on Thursday with all third round matches in the girls’ and boys’ draw yet to be completed.
With rain in the region on Wednesday, the pressure was on to get the boys’ and girls’ draws containing some of the biggest talents on the ITF Junior circuit complete for the round of 32. Now, with the weather forecast looking far brighter, the second Grade A of the ITF Junior season looks set fair for a thrilling final few days.
The top two seeds in the boys’ draw, Gianluca Quinzi (ITA) and Peru’s Jorge Brian Panta Herreros (seeded one and two respectively) both face talented opposition en route to the third round. Quinzi is up against Gabriel Vellinho Hocevar and Panta Herreros will take on US wildcard JC Aragone. Fourth seed Guillermo Nunez of Chile will be facing Leonardo Civita Telles, one of a slew of Brazilians still alive in the tournament.
The boys’ draw opened up somewhat when third seeded American Thai-Son Kwiatowski became one of Monday’s biggest seeded casualties in losing to Brazil’s Orlando Luz. Luz now plays Nicolas Jarry of Chile in the hope of making more progress following that giant-killing win.
Jordi Arconada (ARG) was another player looking to build on a big win. He knocked out another American, Spencer Papa, in the first round and now plays a second American, Javier Restepo, for a place in the third round.
The girls’ draw looks just as competitive in the round of 32, with the main draw still bursting at the seams with accomplished female junior players. Top two seeds Christina Makarova (USA) and Vavara Flink (RUS) must be considered the ones to watch. Makarova is looking ahead to a second round meeting with Julia Rittscher, a Brazilian qualifier who has already notched up two wins on Porto Alegre’s red clay courts.
Flink has been in particularly ominous form this season already, having won back to back singles titles in January at the Copa Del Cafe in Costa Rica and the Copa Barranquilla in Columbia. She was also runner-up at the ITF ATP Guayas in Guayaqui, Ecuador, in the first month of the year. Makarova was also a title winner in January after taking the honours at the Copa Gatorade in Caracas, Venezuela.
Flink must beat Brazilian wildcard Leciane Comparin Da Silva to reach the third round. Elsewhere in the girls’ draw, sixth seed Laura Ucros (COL), fourth seed Victoria Rodriguez (COL) and fifth seed, Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia must all be considered contenders for the coveted 30th Copa Gerdau title.