Photo: Fred MullaneFiona Ferro (FRA)
It was the opening day of main draw competition at the Grade A Porto Alegre junior tournament in Brazil and the players came ready for action.
In the girls’ event, second-seeded Fiona Ferro of France scored an easy 61 61 win over Margaux Bovy of Belgium.
“It was a very good match and an excellent start to the tournament,” Ferro said. “I was able to set the game up to my speed at all times in search of a win. Hopefully I can maintain this throughout the week.”
The 17-year-old Ferro, who has a current combined ranking of No. 34, is putting up some excellent results in the first three months of the year.
At the Grade 1 Traralgon tournament, the tune-up event for the Australian Open, she reached the finals, losing to Varvara Flink of Russia 62 26 61.
She followed that with a round-of-16 showing at the Australian Open, falling to Australian native Kimberly Birrell 64 61.
Ferro will take on Canadian Alexis Prokopuik in the second round. The No. 208 ranked Prokopuik earned her second round appointment with a 61 61 win over Brazilian wildcard recipient Sophia Chow.
Fourth-seeded Sofia Kenin of the USA had little trouble ousting Brazilian wildcard recipient Marina Schneiger 61 60 to secure her passage into the second round.
The No. 36 ranked Kenin’s best result of 2014 was reaching the Grade 1 Guayaquil, Ecuador semifinals where she fell to fellow American Usue Maltane Arconada 64 46 63.
Placed in the same half of the draw, Ferro and the 15-year-old Kenin could potentially face each other in the Porto Alegre semifinal.
In the top half of the draw, the eighth-seeded Arconada came through with a 61 60 victory over Brazilian qualifier Izabela De Pitta.
Aged 15, No. 49 ranked Arconada is having some impressive results this month.
At the Grade 1 Asuncion Bowl tournament, Arconada reached the semifinal where she fell to Fanny Stollar of Hungary 75 64. Stollar is the top seed at this week’s Porto Alegre tournament and if Arconada keeps marching on in the draw they could face each other in the quarterfinals.
At the Grade 1 Guayaquil Ecuador tournament, also played this month, Arconada found her way to the final where she fell to Ukrainian Olga Fridman 64 61.
In boys’ action, No. 5 seed Matias Zukas of Argentina had a strong start by defeating Renan Hanayama of Brazil 64 62.
“It's a slower court compared to the ones we were playing on so far, there were more rallies so I could build up my confidence to be able to win,” Zukas said. “I have to take each match at a time, but I know that once I play well I can achieve a excellent campaign this week.”
Zukas next plays Alexander Sendegeya of Britain, who won his opening match against Paraguay's Alex Ruiz Dias 63 61.
In other girls’ matches No. 10 seed Dasha Ivanova of the USA defeated Rosie Johanson of Canada 63 62, No. 11 Maria Fernanda Herazo Gonzalez of Colombia defeated Uruguayan qualifier Maria Jose Pintos 61 62, and No. 16 Olivia Hauger of the USA defeated Lara Souza Soares 63 62.
On Tuesday, the top seeds from the girls’ and boys’ events will see first round action.
Top seed Fanny Stoller of Hungary will play Nicole Frenkel of the USA in the girls. Top seed Quentin Halys of France will play Rafael Matos of Brazil.
Boys’ second seed Johan Sebastien Tatlot of France will also be in action on Tuesday.
For full results and draws click here