Photo: Susan MullaneVeronika Kudermetova (RUS) and Pedro Martinez Portero (ESP)
Pedro Martinez Portero – The 16-year-old, born in Valencia, is Spain’s No. 2 player for this year’s Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and he got Spain off to the perfect start in their semifinal against Germany when he defeated Tim Sandkaulen 64 63. He has also won both of the doubles rubbers in which he has featured this week. Martinez Portero is currently progressing from juniors and has started to play on the Pro Circuit, competing in two Futures events in Spain this year. He won his first round match in both tournaments. He won his first junior tournament of the year in the first week of September, where he claimed both the singles and doubles titles, ensuring he came into this year’s event with his confidence at an all-time high.
Veronika Kudermetova – The Russian No. 2 had won every rubber she played in in the group stages and continued that form into Saturday’s semifinal with Hungary. She got Russia off to a perfect start once again when she defeated Fanny Stollar in a tight three-set match. Kudermetova has a current combined ranking of 27 and has reached as high as 22 this year. She has reached the final of three junior tournaments this year but could not quite claim a title. Like Martinez Portero, 16-year-old Kudermetova has also made the transition on to the Pro Circuit and has competed in many tournaments already this year. Her best result came in a $50,000 event in Kazan, Russia in August where she reached the semifinals.