Photo: © 2014 María T. OrroCarlos Santos (BRA)
Brazil’s men’s and women’s teams both secured thrilling victories in deciding doubles rubbers on a gripping second day of round-robin ties at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup Americas Qualification in Caguas, Puerto Rico, while the host nation’s men’s team recovered from an opening loss to Chile to defeat Guatemala.
Both Brazilian teams will now feature in Friday’s finals in Caguas in their respective quests to qualify for men’s World Group II and the women’s World Group for the 2014 BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Netherlands in May.
Natalia Mayara once again proved key for Brazil’s women as the second seeded nation came from behind for the second straight day to follow up a 2-1 win over Chile by edging out Colombia after a second successive championship tiebreak in a deciding doubles rubber.
After Colombia’s Angelica Bernal had beaten Rejane Candida 61 75, Mayara kept the Brazilian hopes alive once more when defeating Johana Martinez 64 61. Candida and Mayara subsequently teamed up to clinch the crucial point, overcoming Bernal and Martinez after having been a set down in the doubles rubber.
Colombia and top seed Chile will now meet on Thursday’s last day of round-robin competition to decide who will meet Brazil in Friday’s women’s final.
Brazil defeats Canada in men’s event
Top seed Brazil inflicted the first defeat on Canada in three BNP Paribas World Team Cup Americas Qualifications, beating the winner for the last two years in yet another deciding doubles contest in pool 2.
All three rubbers in the tie proved extremely close, with the opening singles alone lasting for three hours and 10 minutes as Joel Dembe gave Canada the lead after a 76(5) 67(5) 64 win over Daniel Rodrigues.
Carlos Santos levelled the tie for Brazil after a tense 75 76(2) win over Philippe Bedard and Rodrigues went on to partner Rafael Medeiros to beat Bedard and Dembe 75 63 to give Brazil a 2-1 victory.
With Brazil and Canada being the only two teams in pool 2, Brazil progresses to the final.
Meanwhile, after an opening loss to Chile in pool 1, host nation Puerto Rico beat Guatemala 3-0.
Miguel Lozada gave the local fans a winning start to the tie when overcoming Macario Ramas 62 75, while Hector Maldonado ensured Puerto Rico took an unassailable advantage when defeating Oscar Oliva 62 63. Maldonado and Oscar Marrero completed the victory after a 63 60 win over Oliva and Ramas.
With Puerto Rico finishing its two ties with one win and one loss, Guatemala will bid to upset Chile in the final round-robin contest in pool 1 on Thursday.