Photo: Cecilia AncalmoEduardo Camacho in La Libertad, El Salvador
Wednesday saw an end to the group stages at the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas North/Central American & Caribbean Pre-Qualifying event in El Salvador as participating nations turn their thoughts to the knock out stages and the prospect of winning an elusive spot into the Final Qualifying event in May.
With just one qualification place up for grabs in the 16-strong Play-off draws in the boys' and girls' events, a place in Montreal on May 2-4 is still some way out of reach for even the top-seeded nations.
Even so, the top three seeds kept the dream alive on Wednesday as all achieved safe passage into the play-off stages in the boys' event after topping their groups. No. 1 seeds Dominican Republic, No. 2 seeds Costa Rica and No. 3 seeds El Salvador won all of their group ties, each losing just a solitary rubber along the way.
El Salvador progressed in the most comfortable fashion of the three on Wednesday, defeating Barbados 3-0, while Costa Rica and Dominican Republic both had to come back from 1-0 down to secure victory in their ties.
With Pedro Munoz beaten by William Boyle in the opening rubber, Jose Olivares helped turn the tie for Dominican Republic, thumping Courtland Boyle 60 60 before partnering William Kirkman to a 61 62 doubles victory over the Boyles.
Alberto De Mendiola was the star for Costa Rica against Bahamas, cancelling out Eduardo Camacho’s opening round defeat to Joshua Turnquest by running through Shannon Francis 60 61 before sealing the tie with victory alongside Gonzalo Adis in the doubles.
Fourth seeds Panama, fifth seeds Trinidad & Tobago, sixth seeds Honduras, seventh seeds Nicaragua and unseeded Guatemala also progressed through to the 1st to 8th Play-offs, which begin on Thursday.
In the Fed Cup Pre-Qualifying event, Costa Rica caused the upset of the day on Wednesday, stunning second seeds Dominican Republic 2-1 after swinging the deciding doubles rubber on a match-turning second set tiebreak. After losing the second rubber to Dominican Republic’s Karla Portalatin in three sets, Eugenia Camacho made no mistake over the distance in the deciding doubles as she teamed with Sofia Perez to defeat her singles conqueror and Ashley Almonte 36 76(3) 62 and carry Costa Rica to the top of Group B.
The remaining three of Wednesday’s girls’ ties also required a deciding doubles rubber to determine the winner.
Claudia Carrera and Amanda Gomez helped No. 1 seeds Cuba top Group A after defeating Chantal Martinez and Glary Rodriguez 75 36 64, while Nancy Menjivar and Paola Carpio won their doubles rubber against Barbados to help El Salvador achieve the same feat in Group D. Guatemala were the other team to win their Group, defeating Bahamas 2-1 to top Group C.
Wednesday's results mean top seeds Cuba will take on Bermuda, second seeds Dominican Republic play fourth seeds El Salvador, Guatemala take on Puerto Rico and Costa Rica face Barbados in the knock-out stages on Thursday.