24 Sep 2013

Mexican girls mean business

Match Report

By Sandra Harwitt

Photo: Susan MullaneConstanza Gorches (MEX)

There are times when the home court advantage results in a truly magical moment.

At the 2013 Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas in San Luis Postosi, Mexico, on Tuesday that magical moment belonged to the unseeded Mexican girls’ team.

The day started for the home team on Court No. 7, one of the two main courts at the La Loma Centro Deportivo, where they faced off against the fifth-seeded Czech Republic. By the conclusion of the two singles matches, team Mexico had pulled off the upset, leading their tie 2-0 ahead of the doubles match.

“It’s great and it’s very important for us to play good in Mexico and that was what we were trying to accomplish,” said Mexican Captain Leonardo Lavalle, the 1985 Wimbledon Junior Boys’ singles and doubles champion, who went on to rank as high as No. 51 on the pro tour. “We’ve been working very hard to be ready for this so we were just trying to enjoy the day and enjoy the day, but we didn’t feel pressure.”

It was Constanza Gorches, Mexico’s No. 2 player, taking on Petra Melounova, the No. 2 player for the Czechs, in the first match. Gorches’ confident 76(5) 62 win had the mingling Mexican fans, who sat on the small erected stand or stood around courtside, cheering.

“I feel good about this first match and I’m ready for the other matches,” said Constanza Gorches, who has an ITF combined ranking of 155. “I started with patience and putting the ball inside the court. And I continued with my game.”

There were no breaks of serve in the first set, but Gorches took an immediate advantage in the tiebreak by winning the first four points.

In the second set, Melounova, who has an ITF combined ranking of 211, double-faulted three times in the first game, including on game point, to lose her serve. Gorches returned the service break to Melounova in the fourth game, but then went on to win the final four games of the match.

“Yeah, I know him from before because of other tournaments like this,” Gorches said. “I feel good with him. He’s so good and I think so much of him. He tells me to play my game and continue with what I do.”

Gorches started playing tennis at 6-years-old at the club where the family belongs in Mexico City. These days, however, she trains in Media, Yucatan.

In the second match, Mexico’s No. 1 Renata Zarazua needed only 66-minutes to put away Simona Heinova, who has an ITF combined ranking of 97.

The 15-year-old Zarazua, who has an ITF combined ranking of 81, was clearly nervous at the outset of the match. She posted eight of the nine double faults she served in the first set in her first two service games - five in the first game and four in the third game. By 3-3 in the first set, both players had lost serve twice, but Zarazua won three of the next four games to take the set.

In the second set, the 16-year-old Heinova held serve in the opening game but never won another game in the match, Zarazua claiming it 64 61.

“It gave me a lot of confidence that my partner won the first match,” said Zarazua. “You always have less pressure when that happens, but you cannot relax. You have to start playing really good and I think she had more pressure.”

As for Lavalle, he went off for a quick lunch with a broad smile on his face.

“Constanza played a very great first match and Renata played a beautiful second match,” Lavalle said. “So we’re very happy with our good start.”